December 24, 2016
I wanted to give blooming bulbs as gifts for Christmas, so I potted up several hyacinths and paper white narcissus. The paper whites all came up and are blooming nicely and have been given as gifts. I see nothing from the hyacinths. They were all planted the same time and given the same care. What happened?
Paper white narcissus are the only bulb in the “spring-blooming” bulb category that do not need any chilling hours for the bulbs to grow. Chilling hours are the number of hours a plant or in this case a bulb must be exposed to temperatures above freezing but below 50 degrees. Hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and crocus must have a minimum of 10-12 weeks of temperatures below 50 degrees before they grow. If you did not buy pre-chilled hyacinth bulbs that is why you are not seeing any movement. If left long enough, your hyacinths will sprout, but the flowers will never get taller than an inch or so. Try planting them outside now or move the pots into an old refrigerator to artificially chill them.
I live in Fayetteville on a road that is being widened by the city. I had some bulbs along the driveway—including daffodils and hyacinths that I dug up this summer and stored in old pantyhose in a shed. I was planning to plant them this fall but never got around to it. Will they be ok to plant next fall if I leave them in the shed until then, or should I try to get them planted now?
Plant them as soon as the ground is workable. If you wait until next fall, chances are there won’t be any bulbs left to plant—they will have dried up. Even though a shed or garage can protect bulbs from freezing, they should have been getting the needed chilling hours inside the shed. Both daffodils and hyacinths need on average 10-16 weeks of temperatures below 45-50 degrees. I know my attached garage has been colder than that these past few weeks.
There is an un-irrigated area of my yard between the driveway and property line in which I would like to plant bulbs. Will bulbs flourish with rain water only? If so, which ones, and when should I plant them?
Most of the spring bulbs will do very well, since we get ample moisture during their growth period--winter through spring, and they prefer it to be dry during their dormant summer months. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths should all do well, and are all best planted in the fall.
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