Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time to Plan for Spring Bulbs if You Haven't Already

Think Spring; hard to do when you've had to wonder if a tropical storm would suddenly turn your way or you're pondering things political. Fall planning is necessary for a big show in Spring.

Juanita, I think. Spring, 2012.
2012 Hyacinths, forced
I made a tentative list. I'm forcing bulbs that will all be planted outside after they bloom. I know the experts say forced bulbs are spent and to toss them. They can be reclaimed with care to let the foliage mature. I'll be planting all bulbs in potting soil rather than forcing in water.
Violas and white Muscari, February 2012
What really prompted this post was a post on Dirt du Jour She shared there's to be a wedding in her backyard in late January and what will be blooming? It prompted me to think of what a glorious show forced Hyacinths and potted Violas would make under an early blooming deciduous Magnolia.
One hyacinth makes a statement; 7 bulbs make a big show.
These were chilled in a dedicated refrigerator before potting.
Read on to the bottom of the page to see them in bloom.
This was my favorite Amaryllis last year.
I read someone's blog who said she bought one Amaryllis every year before Christmas. I usually buy three. They make super gifts. If the bloom hasn't opened the recipient gets to watch it unfurl, which is the best part.
It's hard to choose a cultivar: Appleblossom has a fragrance; red is so stunning. One year I had some Amaryllis that were a deep apricot, you'd swoon at their beauty.  They need to be planted in good soil. Forcing in water one year was a bust.
Some of my paperwhites last year were 3 feet tall. I placed some in tall glass cylinders to help hold them upright, but they just bent over the sides. The ones above stayed upright with the help of some raffia. This year I'm going to try forcing some minature tazettas that I've heard will force easily.
Blue Jacket, 2012.
Bulbs will start shoing up in garden centers in about month. A little budget, a little list and I'm ready to go ahead and order off so I won't be tempted to buy on impulse instead of a plan.
If you live in a section of the country where voles are not a problem and winters get truly cold, by all means include tulips in your bulb plans. My forced tulips last Spring were mostly a bust.
Tulip 2012



  1. Of all your bulbs I only have the amaryllis. But if only i can grow here those hyacinths and pansies, they are my favorites because most especially because they are blue and elegant. We lack blue flowers here in the hot tropics.

  2. Hyacinths can be grown in the tropics as an annual, chilled before planting for 10-12 weeks to simulate winter cold. Expensive for a bulb that blooms once and is tossed, but lovely to grow.

    Violas need cool weather to thrive. They are treated as annuals even here, dying when hot weather comes. Started from seed and kept shaded, they last longer.

    Do you grow tropical shrubs with blue flowers, like Clerodendrum ugandense and Duranta?

  3. I have been dreaming of spring bulbs for some time now...hopefully my surgery will not interfere with my planting...they moved it up it's going to be the 4th. I'll be posting about that tomorrow or Friday.

  4. I seen Hyacinths been sold in the nurseries in the tropics but during spring time.
    But I had never been successful in force blooming them.
    Eventually the bulb turned out to survive for a few months and suddenly rot for no apparent reason.
    And I have no clue what went wrong.

  5. I probably wont be forcing bulbs, but, yes it certainly is time to be checking out the Spring bulbs.

  6. Beautiful! I just ordered my spring bulbs, and I can't wait to plant them.

  7. Love your blog and your immense experience with plants! Like walking through a garden encyclopedia :) Well done!
    It's good to know I can plant hyacinth in my tropical country. Will give it a try some time. Thanks for the tips.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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