Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Bulbs for Cooler Climates - Flower Gardening Hints and Tips from Garden Services




After the flowers bloom, cut the flower stalk an inch or so above the bulb. Set the plant in a sunny window and water normally. Leaves should develop.

In May when temperatures warm, set (bury) the plant and pot in the flower garden. Choose a protected location where light is filtered. Morning sunshine is satisfactory. Don't be upset if leaves flop over. They soon will become erect.

Continue watering the plant. Feed with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Bulb size should be increasing.

In September, bring pot and bulb indoors. Place in a dark location for six to eight weeks. The leaves will wilt and die; remove them close to the bulb. Keep the bulb on the cool side, approximately 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. DO NOT WATER.

After the rest period, repot the bulb in a fresh soil. If the bulb is too large for the previous pot, move up one size. An ideal soil mixture contains one part houseplant soil, one part peat moss and one part vermiculite or perlite. Set the bulb so that the top half is exposed. Firm the soil around the bulb but don't pack.

Water the soil well and place in a warm sunny location. Let the bulb sit; keep the soil moist but not damp. Ideal forcing temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm temperatures promote long, weak, spindly growth. The flower stalk may flop over.

Bulbs failing to bloom usually have not been allowed to stay dormant long enough. Storage and forcing temperatures may also be too high.

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