How do I know if I am purchasing quality bulbs?
A high quality bulb is large and firm, with no signs of disease or decay. If you receive bulbs that are soft or diseased, please notify us immediately. To learn more, read: How to Select Quality Fall-Planted Bulbs or How to Select Quality Spring-Planted Bulbs.
What soils are suitable for bulbs?
Bulbs are not fussy about soil as long as it is well drained and never soggy. Dry or compacted soils can be improved by adding compost, shredded leaves or other organic matter. Learn more here: How to Prepare Soil for Planting.
How should I prepare the planting area?
Choose a well-drained area with the appropriate amount of light for the plant or bulb (sun, part sun or shade). Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 8” so it will be easy for the bulb or plant to develop a strong root system. Incorporating compost will improve the soil’s texture and fertility. Dig a hole slightly larger than the bulb, root or pot, and follow the planting depth instructions on the package. Firm the soil and water the area thoroughly.
Should bulbs be fertilized?
Bulbs already contain all the nutrients they need for their first year of bloom. If you want to encourage the bulbs to multiply or bloom a second year, you can fertilize them in the spring immediately after they bloom. Use an all-purpose, slow release fertilizer, following package directions. To learn more, watch the video: Why Flower Bulbs Are So Easy To Grow.
Should bulbs be planted pointy end up or down?
Not all bulbs have a pointed end, but for those that do, the pointy end should be on top. If you can’t determine which end is up, don’t worry too much. Once the bulb starts growing, the emerging plant will find its way to the sun. Watch the video: Best Tools for Planting Fall Bulbs
Should bulbs be watered after planting?
Bulbs are usually dormant when they are planted, and moisture helps wake them up. In many parts of the country, the weather at planting time (spring or fall) is rainy, so there’s no need to add water. If the soil is dry and there’s no rain, apply about an inch of water, once each week, for the first several weeks after planting.
Do bulbs bloom every year?
Given the right growing conditions, many hardy bulbs such as daffodils, scilla and alliums, will multiply and bloom year after year. Other bulbs, such as tulips, put on their best show the first season and then gradually decline. How a bulb performs after the first year depends on the type of bulb and the growing conditions in your garden. Learn more here: All About Fall Planted Bulbs and All About Spring-Planted Bulbs.
Do these bulbs contain neonicotinoids?
Insecticides containing neonicotinoids may have an adverse effect on bees and other pollinators. Most of our bulbs and plants are imported from Holland, where the use of neonicotinoids is restricted. At this time we believe our bulbs do not contain these chemicals, though we cannot be 100% sure because the bulbs are not certified organic.
How do I keep deer away from my flower bulbs?
The best solution is to plant bulbs they won’t eat, such as daffodils, alliums and chionodoxa. If deer are a problem in your area, you’ll find suggestions here: How to Protect Your Garden from Deer.
Do I need to dig up my bulbs or can I leave them in the ground?
Spring-blooming bulbs that are winter hardy, such as tulips, daffodils and crocus, can be left right in the ground. Summer bulbs such as dahlias, tuberous begonias and calla lilies, will not tolerate cold winters. If you live in an area where these bulbs are not hardy, you can either treat them as annuals or dig them up in the fall and store the bulbs indoors. Learn more here: How to Lift and Store Dahlia Bulbs
If I bring my bulbs indoors for the winter, how do I care for them?
After digging, let the bulbs air dry for a week or so to help toughen the outside skins. Bulbs such as tuberous begonias and dahlias store best when packed in damp peat moss or shredded leaves. This helps to minimize moisture loss and keep the bulb firm. Other bulbs, such as gladiolus, prefer to be stored dry. For most bulbs, the ideal winter storage temperatures is 50-60°F. In our All About articles, which can be found under LEARN in the navigation bar, you'll find specific information for each type of bulb.