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Start here for answers to commonly asked questions about bulbs such as dahlias, begonias, caladiums and elephant ears.


What should I do with my bulbs and plants when they arrive?

We ship bulbs and plants so they arrive at the proper planting time for your growing zone. If the spring weather is unusually cold, or you must delay planting for a short time, open the box and leave the plants in their original packaging. Store the box in a cool (40-60°F), dark place such as a basement or garage.


I can’t plant my bulbs right away. What should I do?

In most cases, your bulbs can easily wait for 2 weeks. Open the box and put it in a cool, frost-free place. If you need to wait more than 2 weeks, consider planting the bulbs or bare root plants in nursery pots filled with moist growing mix. Provide them with light and moisture, and protection from freezing temperatures. Transplant them into the garden as soon as possible.


The bulbs have already sprouted in the bags. Is this OK?

These plants are eager to get into the ground and start growing, so it’s important to plant them as soon as possible. Handle them with care so you don’t break off the new shoots. Follow the planting instructions for proper planting depth and spacing.

How should my bulbs be planted?

Most bulbs look best planted in groups, but big plants like dinnerplate dahlias, canna lilies and elephant ears can hold their own as individuals. Specific information about recommended spacing and planting depth is provided on the packaging, on offer pages, and in our All About articles, which can be found under LEARN on the navigation bar.


When should I plant my bulbs?

Plant your bulbs in spring, after the soil has warmed up and any danger of frost has passed. Most spring-planted bulbs such as caladiums, dahlias, canna lilies, calla lilies and elephant ears, will not start growing until the soil is warm. To get a jump on the season, you can plant the bulbs in nursery pots and let them get started indoors before transplanting them into the garden or containers. Once the soil is warm, the plants will grow quickly.


What types of bulbs can be planted in the spring?

Spring-planted bulbs include dahlias, lilies, gladioli, calla lilies, tuberous begonias, cannas, caladiums and elephant ears. When soil and air temperatures are warm, these heat-loving bulbs grow quickly, reaching their peak from late-summer through early fall.


Are there any summer-blooming bulbs that will grow in a shady garden?

Begonias and caladiums will thrive in partial shade and perk up these low light areas with colorful flowers and foliage. Learn more about shade loving plants: Summer Bulbs for Shady Gardens and Easy Bulbs for Shady Containers.


Which summer bulbs are drought tolerant?

Calla lilies are a good choice. They need moisture in early summer, but once they are established they will tolerate periods without rain or watering. Most other summer-blooming bulbs, such as dahlias, gladiolus, begonias and elephant ears need a relatively consistent supply of moisture.