• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Bulb growing in Florida






Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077080/00039
 Material Information
Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture
Series Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture.
Uniform Title: Report of the Chemical Division
Alternate Title: Bulb growing in Florida
Physical Description: 9 v. : ill. (some folded) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: Florida. Department of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Manufacturer: Artcraft Printers
Publication Date: April 1926
Frequency: quarterly
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agricultural industries -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Statistics   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 31, no. 4 (Oct., 1921)-v. 39, no. 3 (July 1929).
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Each no. has also a distinctive title.
General Note: Many issue number 1's are the Report of the Chemical Division
General Note: Issues occasional supplements.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077080
Volume ID: VID00039
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 28473180

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Bulb growing in Florida
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
Full Text


t~ ~ -i fL 'U~" ~'' ^^ .
Y *i
a. ^ ^ ^ ^ i^^^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
* -----------------------------------.<


VOLUME 36


NUMBER 2


BULB GROWING

IN FLORIDA










SUPPLEMENT TO
FLORIDA QUARTERLY BULLETIN OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
APRIL, 1926










NATHAN MAYO
Commissioner of Agriculture
Tallahassee, Florida


^Artcraft Printers, Tallahassee
Artcraft Printers, Tallahassee


----~--














Bulb Growing in Florida

By L. M. RHODES
Marketing Commissioner

Bulb growing in Florida may now be referred to
as a present rather than a future industry, and in-
stead of advancing altogether through experimental
stages the culture of bulbs in Florida is an accom-
plishment. Some three years ago the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture passed a ruling prohibiting
after January 1, 1926, the importing of Narcissus
bulbs for commercial purposes, the action being
necessary because of diseases and insect pests being
brought in from foreign countries. A re-hearing
was held in Washington last November, in which
this Bureau assisted the Florida producers all possi-
ble, and after all the evidence for and against the
embargo, the ruling was upheld. Consequently, it
seems the United States will have to raise its own
supply of bulbs, and perhaps for a year or so at least,
the supply will not equal the demand.
Florida is particularly endowed by nature for the
growing of bulbs, and supplies the producers with a
natural greenhouse the year round. Nowhere in the
United States, and perhaps nowhere in the world,
can plants be grown with more ease and profit than
in Florida. This condition is a self-advertiser and
as a result many inquiries are being made from
various sections of Florida and from different parts
of the United States as to the practical side and
possibilities of bulb growing in Florida, for hereto-
fore Holland has enjoyed a monopoly of the world's
bulb culture (in 1923 the United States paid Holland
$8,000,000 for bulbs bought and imported).
According to Mr. T. A. Brown, County Agricul-
tural Agent of Volusia County, considered an expert
from both practical and theoretical experience in the
growing of bulbs, there are now 20,000,000 Paper
White Narcissus bulbs planted in Florida, and ap-
parently all are doing pretty well. Mr. Brown says:
"Most of the stock planted here was brought
from Southern France and seems to be doing best on










well drained potato land, where rows are made 30
inches apart and the bulbs 4 to 6 to the foot and
about three inches deep with the dirt thrown up in
a ridge so that they will be 5 or 6 inches deep after
several workings. This makes a planting of from
60,000 to 75,000 per acre, and half ton of com-
plete potato fertilizer seems best on land that is in
good condition, using more of course if the land is
lighter. Fertilizer should be broadcast over the
ground just before planting or used as a side dress-
ing as early as possible, and rows may be worked
with a horse and sweep until the roots spread far
enough apart to make working dangerous, which
will not be very long, since they are great rooters.
Bulbs should be divided into three grades at plant-
ing time. The large double nosed ones should be
planted more shallow than the others to stimulate
rapid increase by division, the round firm single
nosed ones should be sold for forcing purposes, and
the splits and small stuff should be grown for next
year's forces and should be planted deeper than
the others so as to retard a splitting and encourage
a round, compact, single-nosed bulb for market.
"Narcissus should be planted in the early fall for
best results, and should be allowed to stay in the
ground and fully mature and die down so as to prop-
erly cure. When dug, the bulbs must not be allowed
to lie in the hot sun for more than 30 minutes, but
should be gathered up at once and stored in shallow
flats or bins in a well ventilated shed where there
are no side walls to prevent air circulation. Bulbs
should not be piled much more than 10 inches deep
in these bins and one should remember that 'cool
and dry' must be the watchword in the curing
house. After being cured for a few weeks they may
be cleaned and separated and should be graded at
this time."
Mr. B. F. Whitner, Jr., County Agent of Seminole
County, has a wide and valuable experience in the
growing of bulbs and is one of the State's authorities
on the subject. The following information from Mr.
Whitner will be of interest to any grower consider-
ing bulb growing in Florida:
"Paper White Narcissus, and closely related varie-
ties, seem to do very well on a large variety of soils.










Flat woods land that has a good deal of moisture,
but can be well drained, seems to be the most suit-
able type. Muck is not at all suitable, judging from
what experience we have had in observations. It
seems to produce a soft bulb that does not bloom
well. In Sanford we feel that our sub-drained truck
soils give the optimum condition for production of
these bulbs. Around Jacksonville and through Sem-
inole County we are using about one ton of fertilizer
to an acre, analyzing from three to five per cent
ammonia, ten per cent phosphoric acid and five per
cent potash. We are experimenting with the fer-
tilizer, but until we find something better, we
shall continue to use what we know have produced
good results. It is the opinion of several men who
have been growing bulbs that any good potato fer-
tilizer would do very well for the Narcissus bulbs.
One-half of the fertilizer is applied at planting time,
and one-half just after the peak of bloom. We are
planting in 30-inch rows, about 15 bulbs to the yard,
permitting us to put about one hundred thousand
to the acre. This makes it possible for us to use
horse-drawn implements in cultivating work. Bulbs
should be cultivated enough to keep down the grass
and weeds and to keep the soil crust broken up, but
great care should be given to not break the roots
which come quite close to the surface. Where sub-
drainage is not used and where natural drainage is
not the very best, it is advisable to plant the bulbs
after the fashion of potato growers in the Hastings
district.
"We expect to dig our bulbs in June. The slabs
that were planted in the fall should come out as
round bulbs, suitable to go to the forces in the
North. The round bulbs should have split, giving us
slabs for planting next fall. For a few years we
have to be extremely careful what we offer the
florists."
The Bureau has received considerable inquiry for
the kind of information that is out-lined above, and
coming as it does from two of the leading authorities
in the State, the data should prove not only interest-
ing, but of great value to any prospective bulb
grower.










THIS BUSINESS OF GROWING BULBS


Florida Takes Up New Industry Which Promises to
Develop Into Backbone of Floriculture

GEORGE H. DACY, in The Florida Grower
When Secretary of Agriculture Jardine up Wash-
ington way began to enforce the embargo against
the importation of narcissus bulbs into these United
States on January 1, 1926, his official action added
new fame and fortune to Florida's infant bulb rais-
ing industry. For Florida and California are best
adapted of all our 48 states to supply our future de-
mands for the varieties of bulbs now prohibited ad-
mission to our shores from foreign fields.
This business of growing bulbs is destined to
develop into a floricultural headliner in the land of
palms. And my authority for this statement is the
United States Department of Agriculture, the largest
and most efficient farming organization known to
man. As the narcissus bulb quarantine goes into
effect, Uncle Sam reviews his resources and finds
that there are now 150,000,000 bulbs of this variety
resident under the Stars and Stripes, set out in more
than 1,475 acres of commercial plantings. Florida
with a total of 150 acres and approximately 16,000,-
000 bulbs-all planted during the last two or two
and one-half years-gets off to a flying start in the
new industry.
The biggest grower of bulbs in Florida at present
is W. J. Guille, representing the Rynveld interests
in South Jacksonville, who operates 95 acres and
supplies 6,000,000 narcissus bulbs yearly to his regu-
lar trade. T. K. Godby, in Northern Florida, with
fourteen acres of narcissus, is the most successful
individual grower in the State, marketing in the
neighborhood of $20,000 worth of flowers, bulbs and
plant material from his establishment every twelve
months. Carl Jurgens and C. J. Speelman at Day-
tona, L. A. Hakes, Orlando, and Tegllar Brothers in
Central Florida are other pioneer operators who are
winning success in bulb production.
The remarkable progress of the United States in
the establishment of commercial narcissus plantings
is apparent when one understands that Holland in










1923 was cultivating a total of but 1,523 acres of
narcissus bulbs. During the 36 months that Amer-
icans have been establishing domestic supply
sources, they have set out an acreage almost as large
as that of Holland. Our country has had three years
warning about the embargo. It has been completely
forewarned and is now forearmed. For example,
the importation of bulbs during the last fiscal year
shows the preparedness which has been practiced
advantageously. During that twelve months' period
a total of 276,002,753 foreign bulbs was imported
and of this number 106,314,000 consisted of nar-
cissus bulbs brought in from France, Holland, Eng-
land, Bermuda, and China.
Embargo to Keep Out Plant Diseases
In Europe, if you know anything about plant dis-
ease conditions abroad, there exists the so-called
lesser and larger bulb flies and a certain eel worm
which are most inimical to commercialized establish-
ments. During recent years, our federal experts who
keep tab of foreign importations of plant material
have observed increased evidences of infestation by
these plant pirates. On the Pacific coast, in par-
ticular, science has discovered that these undesirable
insect aliens were gaining a foothold. Conditions
have not been so bad along the Atlantic coast. The
Federal Horticultural Board, since its inception some
14 years ago, has done its best to prevent foreign
pests not already seated in this country from gain-
ing entrance. The recent bulb embargo is but a
part of this campaign to keep our shores clear of
foreign plant despoilers-the good Lord knows we
have enough pests already established here which
collect a billion dollars worth of tribute annually.
In one case, a certain importer purchased one ton
of Holland narcissus bulbs. When the consignment
was delivered, he had to burn 700 pounds of bulbs
because of serious infestation with the larger bulb
flies. This instance was only typical of many others
as bad or worse. It was three years ago that the
Federal Horticultural Board first urged a future bulb
embargo. The general public and dealers were
given three years of grace in which to prepare for
such a contingency. And now it has come to pass










and certain species of unwelcome disease germs will
henceforward have no opportunity to emigrate from
Europe to the United States.
Bulbs are divided by science into several different
classes. The lily, lily of the valley, hyacinth, tulip
and crocus are all included in one class. According
to the terms of the national quarantine regulations
as of 1919 these varieties could be imported in un-
limited quantities from foreign countries which re-
quired inspection, and the same limitations hold
good today. The narcissus and a series of smaller
bulbs were held in the same status as the above
plants until 1923 when the Department of Agri-
culture announced because of the troubles expe-
rienced with bulb flies and eel worms that an em-
bargo against foreign narcissus bulbs would be en-
forced after the first of the year in 1926. In the
future, many other bulbs such as the gladiolus, or-
namental onion and others will be introduced only
under federal regulation.
Florida Adapted for Bulb Growing
The United States Department of Agriculture as
a result of its search and research quest in plant
growing in Florida reports that the paper white or
grandiflora narcissus can be raised successfully in
our most southerly state as well as the joss flower or
Chinese narcissus. The Roman hyacinth, now raised
commercially in California, also has a bright future
for professional production in Florida, while the
gladiolus and amaryllis promise to be grown on ex-
tensive scale. The Easter lily and the regal lily are
also both of incalculable importance in Florida's
future floricultural activities. The Easter lily grown
in the field in Florida will blossom about Easter
Sunday and should then be dug and shipped north
for forcing operations. The regal lily will bloom
in May south of the snowline and should then be
lifted from the soil and rushed to northern markets
for sale as forcing material.
Any good Irish potato soil in Florida is adaptable
for bulb production. In southern France, the nar-
cissus is grown, in the main, on heavy clay soils,
but when moved to Florida's equable climate, this
bulb plant will prosper on fertile sandy soils. For










example, the best trucking soils around Sanford are
very satisfactory for bulb production. In fact, sev-
eral dozen amateur growers have engaged in the
narcissus and other bulb production business during
the last ten months in that yicinity. These operators,
respectively, have begun with from one to five acres
and will increase their plantings as their returns
justify such expansion. Florida's bulb growers, to
a man, are entering the industry on a small scale and
plan to grow up with their businesses.
The initial expenses associated with bulb growing
are large and have deterred many who would like to
tackle the game from having a try at the new occu-
pation. Narcissus planting stock costs from $8 to
$15 a thousand while 100,000 bulbs are required to
plant one acre according to the most popular Amer-
ican methods. Overseas, much of the work con-
nected with bulb farming is performed by cheap
hand labor. In the United States such handwork is
too costly to be practical. Americans at present are
experimenting and scheming, striving to originate
mechanical fingers which will supplant the other-
wise necessary hand labor. Unquestionably, Amer-
ican ingenuity will master this present perplexity.
Florida producers are spacing their bulb rows so
that horse power can be utilized for cultivating the
crop. It is in harvesting, however, that the vital
labor factor stands out most important. A mechan-
ical method for harvesting and handling narcissus
bulbs is now needed badly.
Under Florida conditions, the narcissus bulbs are
set out in a new planting in September or October,
being spaced two inches apart in the row with the
rows 15 inches apart for hand cultivation and 2 to
3 feet where horse cultivators are used. Subse-
quently, during a favorable season, the bulbs may
be dug in June and marketed in July or August.
The ordinarily successful grower figures on turning
off about one-third of the area planted. The mature
bulbs will find ready market in Florida for about
$20 a thousand. So far in Florida, no disease para-
sites have been discovered which jeopardize com-
mercial production. The cut flowers will stand ship-
ment satisfactorily from Florida to the northern
markets. It is impossible at this time to predict










their future prices as the paper white narcissus with
which the markets are now most familiar have been
raised almost exclusively in greenhouses.

American Plan of Planting

If you set out your narcissus bulbs on the inten-
sive or European fashion, you will have to purchase
and plant 300,000 per acre. The popular American
plan of planting as mentioned previously requires
the use of only one-third as many. If you have a
neighbor who grows narcissus, you may be able
to arrange with him to purchase the mill run of
bulbs from a certain specified bed as they are dug.
American florists use millions of narcissus bulbs for
the production of flowers for winter consumption.
The bulbs are usually consigned to the rubbish heap
after the flowers are marketed. These discarded
bulbs are a fertile source of propagating stock at
low cost. Although this material is not as good as
bedded stock, it is worthy of trial where it can be
secured. The large bulbs will probably all flower
the second year and some of them will bear blossoms
the first season.
The American trade for many years has believed
that "forced bulbs had no value." The outstanding
contradiction to this consensus of opinion was for-
merly had in the fact that foreign bulb producers
were willing to pay as high as $20 a thousand for
certain costly varieties of bulbs after they had been
forced to be shipped back to the Netherlands.
Under American conditions of short supply and high
prices, this source of future bulbs should not be
neglected. Even if we had an extensive bulb in-
dustry developed, it would be folly to waste this pro-
ductive material. It is really economical to use the
forced stocks rather than to depend on the ordi-
nary field methods of reproduction. The intelligent
management of such stocks also facilitates essential
culling.
Uncle Sam advises Florida growers to plant bulbs
on sandy loam soils which are well drained. His
experts say that narcissus bulbs should be dug and
replanted biennially, except certain of the prolific
varieties. An occasional four or five year period un-










disturbed will frequently improve the stock.
Naturalized or bedded and forced stocks are suit-
able for planting material. Bulbs should never be
exposed in the sunshine to dry them, but should be
cured in shady, well-aerated shelters or under field
debris. Bulbs must always be handled very care-
fully in order to protect them from bruises. Every
bulb grower should be painstakingly on the watch
for the appearance of the large grub or narcissus
fly in his plantings and should do everything possible
to exterminate this plant pirate once it is found. The
smaller grubs which occur in rotten bulbs are usually
not the cause of their despoilation. To control in-
jurious grubs, it is necessary to practice a rigid rota-
tion and to allow two years to intervene between two
successive crops on the same land. Good farming
care of your bulb crops is necessary. These plants
respond profitably to special care and attention.
Keep Good Bulbs for Replanting
Do not make the mistake of marketing all of your
best and largest bulbs, irrespective of how attractive
the proffered prices may be. Remember that it is
basically important to maintain and even improve
the high quality of your parent stock. Never per-
mit cheap or nonsalable varieties to accumulate sim-
ply because plenty of such planting stock is avail-
able. It is wisdom to sacrifice such material rather
than to attempt to grow it. And do not neglect to
cull systematically and regularly! Go over your in-
dividual bulbs carefully in the field or in the bulb
house after digging and discard all imperfect and
undesirable material. Do not jump at primary con-
clusions and make the mistake of overestimating
your crop only to be disappointed later in the sea-
son. Experience covering two or three biennial dig-
ging periods is necessary to enable the grower to
form an accurate estimate of the success of his
venture in the production of narcissus bulbs.
In marketing paper white narcissus avoid the
shipment of small, starved and imperfect bulbs. In-
stead grow them to the largest size possible-big
plump, fat and firm bulbs which will prosper in
proper soils and which will develop the respect of
the consumers for domestic bulbs. There is no rea-










son why Florida growers can not produce as fine
narcissus bulbs as the best ever grown in southern
France or Holland. The local producers must hitch
their scorecards of excellence to the highest stand-
ards and ideals and not be content with bulbs which
will not withstand such rigid inspection and selec-
tion. If such goals are adhered to, the future will
see Florida growers producing and marketing any-
where from 50,000,000 to 75,000,000 narcissus bulbs
a year. The searching studies of agricultural
science show that Northern Florida in many respects
is better adapted for bulb farming than the best
districts of California. If Florida producers will ac-
cept and capitalize on this golden opportunity, an-
other stable and standardized industry prolific in
handsome monetary returns will be added perma-
nently to the sunshine state's farming program.

Keep Stocks from Mixing

There is an ever-occurrent danger of mixing
stocks in bulb farming unless armored precautions
are instituted. That is one reason why two crops of
bulbs should never succeed each other. It is during
the time when the plants are in blossom that it is
most easy to detect the "strays" or rogues as they
are called-and to remove them with special spuds.
They are pried loose, lifted and laid aside for special
disposition. This work of roguing is outstandingly
important in the culture of all varieties of bulbs and
unless it is practiced intensively a mixture of the
stocks will occur so that the future marketable mate-
rial can be sold only as cheap mixtures. The best of
the rogues which can be identified may be set out
subsequently with similar family planting stock.
They will usually develop into first class bulbs after
another year's growth. Many growers who do not
wish to go to this trouble "heel" the "strays" to-
gether in some isolated spot and sell them as low-
grade mixtures when dug.
The ordinary practice is to place the bulbs in
windows as they are dug. Then they are covered
with debris, care being exercised not to expose the
bulbs to too much sunshine. The permanent grower
usually builds a small house in which the bulb can be










placed on shelves under shelter and allowed to cure.
In Florida, bulbs may be spread out temporarily
under live oak trees. They are exposed to rain and
are cleaned off when dry and shipped, planted or
stored in sheds. Where bulb houses are provided,
the cost is considerable for it takes 700 to 1,000 feet
of shelving to accommodate the bulb crop from one
acre farmed according to the American plan and
three times as much space where the European in-
tensive system is practiced.
Danger in Bulb Breaking
In separating the planting from the marketable
stock, the bulb clump, in each instance, has to be
broken. It is an expensive hand labor process to
remove the roots from the bulbs and under present
circumstances it is unnecessary. The growers are
warned by the federal authorities against carrying
the separation of bulbs too far. It is preferable to
plant clumps where necessary rather than to carry
this bulb breaking business too far. Nature will
effect a separation in the course of time and it is
much more desirable to give this assignment to
nature than to use a knife as is sometimes done in
the Netherlands. Commerce recognizes three lead-
ing qualities of bulbs, the double-nosed, first size and
second size. No machine has ever been perfected
which will separate the merchantable bulbs from the
planting stock.
The paper white narcissus responds most profit-
ably to annual digging. Where these bulbs are used
for commercial flower production, they are left un-
disturbed for three to four years, the maximum
flower production being harvested the fourth season.
Under such conditions, naturally, no merchantable
stocks develop. It is indeed rare for the bulb grower
to be able to successfully combine flower and bulb
production. Generally, the production of bulbs is
one specialized business, that of flower production,
another. However, small growers of limited capital
are obliged sometimes to engage in flower market-
ing until their bulb business is well established and
profitable. The removal of the flowers with their
long stems exerts only a very slight deleterious effect
on bulb yield.









BULB GROWING APPEARS TO HAVE INTEREST
FOR FLORIDA
T. K. GODBEY, in Farm and Live Stock Record
Bulb growing is now attracting the attention of
many progressive farmers all over the country, and
the reasons are very substantial.
The sale of cut flowers has doubled in the United
States in the past five years. The American Florist
Society expect it to double again in the next five, and
the demand for bulbs must keep pace with the de-
mand for flowers.
We have been importing practically all our bulbs
from foreign countries amounting to more than
thirty million dollars a year, and in order to pre-
vent the further introduction of plant disease and
insects the Federal Plant Bureau has placed an em-
bargo on the further importation of bulbs after Jan-
uary 1st, 1926, so that all foreign supplies will be
cut off after that date.
Nearly all our imported stock has been growing
successfully in this country for many years, but very
few have ever attempted to grow them here for
market. If they did the agents of the importers
told the trade that American grown bulbs were
worthless and thus killed the demand for American
grown stock in order that they might retain the
monopoly of our market, and these importers are
now howling themselves hoarse about the embargo,
crying bulb famine, flower famine, ruin to the parks
and gardens and greenhouse business of America.
All of which is the vilest rot and absolutely false.
Whenever the American farmer turns his atten-
tion to growing any important crop he usually sup-
plies the home demand and has a surplus for export,
and the bulb business will soon be no exception.
The shortage of planting stock will be the hindering
cause for a surplus for some years to come.
It has been stated by good authority that six
million farmers have quit their farms in the United
States in the last six years and moved to the cities
or taken up some other line of work while our gov-
ernment at Washington allows all kinds of foreign
farm produce to be dumped on our markets to break
down and ruin the American farmer.









If our government will give the American farmer
the same protection against cheap foreign labor that
it gives the labor unions of America the six million
farmers who have left their farms in the past six
years will return in the next six years, and bring six
million more with them.

Florida's Place In Bulb Growing

Nearly every part of the world has its bulb floral
peculiar to itself. Some flourish only where they
are frozen part of the year; others are found only
in the tropics; some grow in water, and some in the
desert, and it would be only to suppose all could be
grown commercially in Florida.
Yet it has been fully demonstrated that the kinds
of which we import the most succeed better in
Florida than in any other part of the United States,
among which 1 mention Narcissus, Paperwhite,
Grand Monarque, Pearl and Chinese Sacred Lily,
Lilium Harrisii and Formosum. We also grow suc-
cessfully Gladioli, Callas, Cannas, Caladiums,
Spanish, Dutch and Japan Iris, Freesias Zafrenties,
Tube Roses, etc.
I find many new beginners make a mistake in the
selection of land, nearly all selecting land that is
too low and wet. The Calla Lily is the only one I
grow that flourishes on low wet land, and it will do
well on high land if given plenty of water.
All the rest should be planted on land with good
drainage, such as would be selected for growing
vegetables.
It is also best to get Florida-grown stock if possi-
ble, and this is especially true of Gladioli.
I find Florida-grown Gladoli bulbs are far superior
to northern-grown bulbs for producing fine flowers
that bring fancy prices in the northern market.
A test was made the past year at the experiment
station in Gainesville, Florida, by Major Floyd and
Prof. Clinton Van Fleet between northern grown
and Florida grown Gladioli bulbs, and the flowers
from the Florida bulbs were decidedly better than
those grown from the northern stock.
I have been testing out many kinds of bulbs, on
various types of soil, for twenty-five years, and I









am in a position to assist the new beginner to avoid
costly mistakes.
Besides the sale of bulbs, we find ready market
for the flowers and most of them can be shipped
to northern cities in the winter when prices are high
and I find them as easy to ship as vegetables.
While ornamental horticulture is just in its in-
fancy in Florida, the possibilities are very great, and
I believe that within twenty-five years this line of
production will bring more money into the State
than the citrus crop.

Twelve Years With Narcissus

This is now my twelfth year with narcissus in
Florida, planting the first year equal amounts of
Paperwhite, Golden Spur and Chinese Sacred Lilies,
and since then I have tried nearly all the leading
varieties.
A few varieties were failures, but a great many
kinds do well in Florida as they do any place in the
world, but it is natural for various reasons that some
should prove more profitable than others, and the
race from the start has been between the Paper-
white and the Chinese Sacred Lilies.
The Paperwhite is the favorite for forcing and is
planted more exclusively for cut flowers than any
other kind.
One reason for this is because the bulbs of Paper-
whites are cheaper than any other kind, the price
ranging for the past twelve years from $10 to $25
per thousand for large blooming bulbs of the best
French grown stock, and so many are now being
planted in this country that there is but little pros-
pect for much higher prices, as they succeed over a
wide range of country and are being planted by the
million from Portsmouth, Va., to the Everglades of
Florida, and all along the Pacific coast.
In the twelve year test between Paperwhites and
Chinese Narcissus, I find the following to be true:
The Chinese Narcissus grows as good in Florida
as it does in China, but has not been grown success-
fully much beyond northern limits of this State,
which practically gives Florida a monopoly of this
variety.










I also find the cut flowers sell fully as well as the
Paperwhites and they begin to bloom about ten days
sooner than Paperwhites; they also produce more
than twice the number of flowers, thus making them
much more profitable for cut flowers.
Now, as to bulb production, they increase three
times as fast as Paperwhites, and cost no more for
cultivating, fertilizing, etc., while the wholesale
market price of bulbs for the past twelve years has
ranged from $30 per thousand, in 1913, gradually
increasing in price each year until now they are
worth $60 per thousand, and when the embargo goes
into effect January 1, 1926, nearly the whole supply
for the United States will be in the hands of about
ten small growers in the State of Florida.



NARCISSUS BULB GROWING OFFERS AN IM-
MENSE FIELD IN FLORIDA

Farm and Live Stock Record
A monopoly for Florida, and more particularly
the back country surrounding Jacksonville on an in-
dustry now represented by $10,000,000 worth of im-
ports into the United States annually, was the plum
dangled before members of the Jacksonville Real
Estate Board, at a recent meeting, by William Feller,
representative of F. Rynveld & Sons, large nursery
stock and bulb importers whose stocks come largely
from France and Holland. The high lights of Mr.
Feller's announcements, which were received with
great interest by the realtors, were as follows:
1. Ten million dollars worth of narcissus bulbs
are imported into the United States annually from
France and Holland, the traffic having shown great
increases in recent years.
2. The embargo on European narcissus bulbs, or-
dered by the Federal Horticultural Board three
years ago to prevent the entry of insect pests and
plant diseases into this country, is effective after this
year, resulting in this year being the last that the
narcissus may be imported from Europe.










3. After three years of extensive experiments in
all parts of the United States, it has been determined
that Florida, particularly the Northern part where
the soil is sandy and summer dampness is less than
in the Southern part of the State, is the only state in
the Union where narcissus can be grown success-
fully for commercial purposes.

Florida Supply Source
Upon these premises, Mr. Feller explained that
henceforth the United States market for narcissus
will have to be supplied by Florida, and if people
in Florida do not undertake commercial cultivation
of narcissus, growers in Holland and France will
come to this State and take over the business, the
speaker declared. He said that growers of narcissus
bulbs, with care and intelligent cultivation, can real-
ize from $1,000 to $1,500 a year per acre from their
crops, and declared that his company is prepared to
give every possible aid to growers of the bulbs in
Florida, and will purchase the entire output at regu-
lar market prices.
"This is a new industry for Florida," said Mr.
Feller, "and one of immeasurable value. Your State
cannot continue to exist on revenue from pleasure
seekers alone, with the big expansion that has come
to it. You need development of your back country,
and new industries, and here is one that is thrust
upon you that Florida people should take advantage
of."
Extensive Experimentation
The embargo on narcissus bulbs from Europe was
made effective upon three years notice by the Fed-
eral Horticultural Board, Mr. Feller said, in order to
allow nursery men and bulb growers of the United
States to prepare to supply the tremendous market
of this country, and to allow the growers of France
and Holland to make adjustments in their stocks
which the embargo will necessitate. The period of
grace has been utilized in experimental work which
has disclosed that Florida is the only state in the
Union where the bulbs may be produced success-
fully on a commercial basis.










The company represented by Mr. Feller operates
a bulb farm in South Jacksonville, where 5,000,000
narcissus bulbs will be set out this year, he said.
Compared to this amount, more than 100,000,000
such bulbs will be imported into this country this
year from Europe, the speaker said, demonstrating
the tremendous demand for the bulbs, which are
grown in homes, gardens, and used in all sorts of
beautification work. Production per acre averages
around 50,000 bulbs, according to Mr. Feller, and
the narcissus multiply rapidly in such climate and
soil conditions as obtain in Jacksonville, and with
proper care.
"If the people of Florida do not undertake this big
industry, to meet the national demand for narcissus
bulbs," said Mr. Feller, "the growers of France
and Holland will come here and take advantage of
the opportunity. Our company will give every as-
sistance possible to growers, and will buy the bulbs
produced. But action is imperative, as this is the
last year-that the bulbs can be imported from Europe
and next year's market must be supplied."
Mr. Feller said that his company is preparing a
pamphlet on the growing of narcissus bulbs, and will
supply growers with seed and bulbs to launch them
in the industry, selling their products at regular
prices.







University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs