Has anyone ever planted their bulbs late?

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I really got stuck this year as it has been a bit odd. I suppose that everyone knows that California has been getting a lot of rain and snow this year, compared to the last few years.

Yes, I think that we are finally out of our drought this year, for most parts of California anyway, but that did present me with a problem. I had a good size batch of bulbs pre-cooling in the refrigerator in the garage. (No room in the fridge in the kitchen, and forbidden by the "chef"!!) I don't always pre-chill them, but it was hot and dry when I received them.
They stayed in there for the recommended time. Then the rains came...Then the snow came. A little bit more than the last few years. So I put them on the back porch, in hopes of putting them into pots of various sizes. I forgot about them for a while then, in between storms, I started to open the packages. Yikes!!! Many were moldy and some were dried out, but there were some that looked salvageable. Some were perfectly clean and beginning to sprout....

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

So in between storms, I began to pot up a few of the ones that were salvageable.

I must admit, I did not actually space them apart according to their directions, but at least they were in contact with the soil. I did not do it all in one day, either. I really had to bundle up well as it was still very cold outside, sometimes warming up to 45 until recently.

(Yesterday it got up to 60!!!) And of course, I needed some more pots and had to hike up to the enclosed garden area to search for them. I would only be able to do this on dry days, and there weren't very many of them. I wanted to hurry and try to save what I could.

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I really hated the fact that so many bulbs were moldy and shriveled, but at the same time, I was grateful that there were some that were perfectly clean and fine. So, yes, I wasted some money...I really don't like doing that, so I will really treasure what portion that I have. I wonder if they will bloom??

Has anyone else ever done this before???

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

I did it this year too, for the same reasons. Early heavy snow but I planted in late December between snow hits. Most people are saying they've never seen weather like this here. I was wondering if the tulips, etc will come up late. I also lost Fritillaria as they went mushy, which was a waste.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

I delayed planting some of my bulbs. We have had days in the lower 70s. Some of my amaryllis bulbs had mold. I sprayed them with a diluted bleach solution. We will see if they come up.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

The tulips and others that had mold was intense, not just a little. If it only had a little, then I just wiped it off and planted them. We will see what happens, I guess!

growin ~ I have planted bulbs in December before with good results. Now is very late in the year. I planted the first batch February 22nd, and the next batches March 3rd, 4th and 8th! You can see the leaves of the first batch. If I had more pots, I could spread them out, but I was not going to pot them all up in 1 gallon black nursery pots. That would be too labor intensive and it was cold. I just wanted to have them make contact with the soil. I will report the results later, if anyone gets caught like that the information would be good to know. I just can't cry over moldy tulips, well, I could, but what good would it do? :-) I might transplant some into the fenced garden area, if I can see they are too crowded. We have lots and lots of deer.

weeding ~ Let us know how your amaryllis do. And give us some pictures if they turn out nice, OK?

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I did not realize at the time, that I posted something that was not correct.

Only the tulips ("Estella Rijnveld ") were popping up from this current planting. I must have put them in the pot in December, then delayed planting the rest until February. What you saw in the pots that already sprouted were some bulbs that were in pots from the previous year.

They stayed in the hot sun all summer and I didn't have time to deal with them, so that is where they were stored. I wasn't expecting anything from them. Their labels were faded, so I did not even know what was in there. When I was looking for pots, some of them had bulbs in them from last year. Since I wasn't sure about them, I just weeded the pots and put some fresh potting soil on top and gave them a good watering. I have no idea if I will even get flowers from them, as they were not even fertilized. It will be interesting as to what the result will be.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hi evelyn, haven't seed you in awhile. Welcome.
I planted Dahlias very late last summer. They got lost in my garage. I potted them up vs. planting them in the ground. They grew but no flowers. I brought the pot into the garage to store for winter. This spring I intend to plant them in the ground. I had planted some a long time ago near a big rock but the city took my rock when they re-did an electric pole. :(
I have planted tulips late but don't get very good results, but some blooms.
Good luck and send pictures.
The weather has been quite unusual to say the least. We have just finished with the warmest February on record. We had lots of 70's. It was so pleasant. Now, we are experiencing our first hard freeze that is lasting for about six nights at 25 degrees. I covered up a few flowers: tulip k. daffodil, and pulsatilla v. I'm not sure I needed to as they are early, cold bloomers. My concern is the fruit trees that have started blooming. :(

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Birder ~ Please be sure to take some pictures of your lovely dahlias to share with us.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Sorry, double post.

This message was edited Apr 24, 2017 7:35 PM

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Here are the ones that I planted in the urn on the back porch in between storms.

This is 'Estella Rijnveld' tulip

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Quote from growin :
I did it this year too, for the same reasons. Early heavy snow but I planted in late December between snow hits. Most people are saying they've never seen weather like this here. I was wondering if the tulips, etc will come up late. I also lost Fritillaria as they went mushy, which was a waste.


Yes, I also hated throwing away valuable bulbs. Let's see how yours turned out!

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

The Estella Rijnveld is gorgeous! Mine are still slowly coming up. Parrots and Fringe are somewhat up but short. I hope next year they will be higher and stronger.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hey, I don't mind looking at those gorgeous tulips twice! Did you purchase them at a box store or order online. I did a little of both this year. The ones I purchased from Lowe's and WalMart weren't near as nice (in fact, rather disappointing) as the ones I ordered online. You know, you wait a long time to see the tulips bloom. To have disappointing results is a bummer. I may re-think buying from boxstores.
How was everyone's results? Probably should send out a survey and find out what other's results were.

Thanks for sharing your pictures. My dahlias are coming up in their pot. I plan on putting them in the garden when I can get some time.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

birder17, the parrot & fringed tulips were from Walmart and were small bulbs whereas the tulips that are tall and were large bulbs were from a garden centre. I guess the box stores get #2 grade bulbs but I guess you get what you pay for. Lesson learned for me too. I'll be ordering large orders for cut production but will stick with the main bulb suppliers of known cultivars instead of mixed #2's. My forget me nots didn't grow large enough to make a nice carpet of blue & pink to accent the tulips unfortunately. It's a nice affect when done right.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

birder ~ I purchased them from John Scheepers online.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

If you're interested, Floret Flower Farm on facebook has some nice looking tulip trials from this year in video. John Scheepers lookes like an amazing bulb vendor and states the tulips go through a few inspections. They probably don't ship to Canada ;-(

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I order from John Scheepers also. Right now, I'm a little disappointed in Scheepers.
I ordered 6 of the Allium Globemaster'. I trusted there would be six in the bag. When I was ready to plant them, I had five. Common can't they count to six?? I had long since lost or thrown away the receipt. So, knew it was no use to tell them about it.
The year before, I ordered two Amarllis 'Wedding Dance' because they bloom at Christmas and remain short and stalky. When the order came, I planted both in one pot, One was Wedding Dance and bloomed on time. The other was a salmon colored bulb that got much taller and bloomed much later. :( I sent them my receipt and explained the situation. It took them two weeks to respond then, wanted pictures. Luckly, I had taken a picture. The white bulb was finished when they asked for a picture. They did refund my money.
So, right now, I'm not real happy with Scheepers.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I am just getting back to daves, but I wanted to jump in on the bulbs! I have been ordering from Colorblends for 6-7 years now. The bulbs are huge, clean, and well labelled. They do have a minimum order amount, 50 bucks if I recall correctly, but I combine my order with a couple gardening friends and we end up happy. They have plenty of blends with quirky names ("stop the car" is a favorite), and they have a huge variety of bulbs.
Pat H, aka goshsmom

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the info on ColorBlends. I get their catalog. I've never ordered from them.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

This year I ordered almost exclusively fro Brent and Becky's Bulbs. It's partially because I met Brent at a conference (what a lovely man!) but also because they have everything I want, you can get very small quantities if you like (as in 5 of an allium), there is no minimum order, you can get a 5-10% discount - and the quality is excellent. My yard is getting fuller and I am having trouble accommodating the larger orders I used to get from Scheepers ($35 minimum) or Van Engelen ($50 minimum) both of which I was very happy utilizing.

I get a number of things from Old House Gardens. There are a few things that they have that no one else has, like Mrs. Backhouse daffodils. It's the very first pink - really apricot, not orange like a lot of "pinks". And their bulbs are huge. These are first year lilium auratum platyphyllums in the first picture - I mean, wow! They are fairly expensive, so for really expensive stuff I will wait until the end of the season when they start discounting. The quality is always first rate and they are guaranteed. They do have a $30 minimum, and it is for spring and fall, separately, so it's good to maneuver.

And I always order something from Faraway Flowers. I was blown away by her lilium auratums - again, first year bulbs - I mean, come on! It's the second picture.

My problem is actually created by the lilies. They are much less expensive, and now that I know how to grow them properly, they multiply like crazy. The longiflorum Asiatic Red Alert got scary this year. I knew it when I saw the emerging stems (third picture) and then the second year lilies. OK, I purchased three, but I was afraid to get too close lest they wrestle me to the ground (the source was B&D Lilies).

I find that bulbs in even first rate garden centers are inferior to the ones I order, undoubted because they are sitting at room temperature for heaven knows how long.

I am thrilled to bits to find that spinosad zaps the lily leaf beetle. It has never made it here, but I'm ready. The viburnum beetle turned up here, quite unexpectedly, and using spinosad on the larvae (one application!) wiped them out. They are finding it also works on the lily leaf beetle, but like the viburnum beetle you have to be on the lookout and get them in the larval stage. So nice to find something organic that really works - its a fermented bacterium. And so nice to grow without fear.

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Donna ~ Pretty pictures!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks Sweetie. I love photographing lilies - they're so dramatic that even my simple point and shoot camera produces pictures that look like I have some skill!

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