Bulbs Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

6 Bulbs to Plant Without Delay

Bulb display at Amsterdam’s floating flower market.

Fall bulbs arrive massively in garden centers around the second week of September and the displays remain standing until the end of November.

Normally there is no particular rush to plant the bulbs sold there: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, etc. They can be planted at any time until about 2 weeks before the ground freezes definitively for the winter, but…

You have to plant winter aconites (Eranthis spp.) soon after they arrive in stores.

That’s not true of all bulbs. Some react badly to being displayed in boxes or bags for weeks and quickly dry out, losing their capacity to sprout. You have to plant them pretty soon after they arrive in the store. This group includes anemones (Anemone blanda, A. nemorosa, etc.), winter aconites (Eranthis), foxtail lilies (Eremurus) and fawn lilies (Erythronium).

Colchicums are among the bulbs you have to plant early… otherwise these autumn-flowering bulbs will begin to bloom right on the shelf!

Other bulbs are fall-flowering. Yes, they start to bloom only a few weeks or even just a few days after they make it to the store. Obviously, it’s vital to plant them quickly before they bloom. This is the case of colchicums (Colchicum) and autumn crocus (Crocus).

Ideally you should these bulbs very soon after their arrival in the store, certainly before the end of September.

Here is the list again:

  • Anemone (Anemone);
  • Winter aconite (Eranthis);
  • Foxtail lily (Eremurus);
  • Fawn lily (Erythronium);
  • Colchichum or meadow saffron (Colchicum);
  • Autumn crocus (Crocus)20160910a

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “6 Bulbs to Plant Without Delay

  1. Pingback: Why Is It We Plant Spring Bulbs in the Fall? – Laidback Gardener

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