In summary, what you need to know
Name : Erythronium, Dog’s tooth or Erythrone
Family : Liliaceae
Type : Flowering plant
Height : From 10 to 50 cm
Exposure : Sun or partial shade
Soil : Clayey, limestone, sandy or stony
Foliage : Deciduous – Flowering : March to June
Planting Dog’s Tooth
Where to plant?
The best place to plant your Erythronium is certainly where it grows naturally. In this case, it is found in its natural state in the undergrowth . It therefore appreciates partial shade, or light shade, as under deciduous trees for example.
In the undergrowth, the soil is generally cool. And Dog’s Tooth needs freshness. In addition to cool soil, the tuber plant needs light, humus-rich soil. It tolerates sun but not drought . It may even be his worst enemy. She also does not like excess humidity, which risks rotting the bulb. Finally, if the soil is slightly acidic, that is to say with a pH around 5, it is better.
Whichever location you choose, think carefully about it because Erythronium does not like to be moved .
When to plant?
The ideal time is clearly autumn. The months of September and October are perfect for planting your Erythronium. That said, you can also plant them a little earlier, at the end of summer. On the other hand, do not risk waiting too long after the fall. Even if planting is theoretically still possible, the bulbs will certainly take less well.
Another very important detail: the bulbs are difficult to store. They should neither rot nor dry out. Also, plant it as soon as possible after buying them.
How to plant Erythronium?
Erythronium in the ground
- Dig a hole about 20 cm deep. Add coarse sand or gravel to the bottom to drain the soil, especially if it is heavy or clayey.
- Place your bulbs (plant them in groups, respecting about 10 cm between each bulb) in the hole.
- Cover with soil that you can amend with compost or leaf mold.
- Tamp lightly.
Erythronium can also be grown in pots . In this case, place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. Place your bulb and fill with potting soil. Finally, water. Be careful, in pots, the substrate dries faster than in the ground. Also, as soon as the soil is dry to the touch, water your plant.
Erythronium, like many bulbs , does very well on its own. It requires very little maintenance. If the summer is arid, dry, water a little or cover the soil with mulch to keep the plant cool . In winter, to limit the risk of bulb rot, pay attention to the drainage of your soil.
You can intervene with your plant when its flowers have faded. Once dry, cut them. The plant will thus avoid becoming exhausted by creating useless seeds.
Multiplication of Erythronium
Dog’s Tooth propagates either by sowing or by division of bulbs . Sowing is long and delicate. In addition, the method is not universal, it must be adapted to each species. To top it off, you have to wait several years, sometimes even a decade, before seeing the flowers appear from a seedling.
When dividing bulbs, wait until the clumps become dense, usually after three or four years, then proceed as follows:
- Wait until early summer, when flowering is finished and the foliage is dry.
- Choose a dense clump and dig it up.
- Delicately, separate the cloves that are around the main bulb .
- Replant them immediately to prevent them from drying out about ten centimeters deep.