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When is it Too Late to Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs?

If you stopped by Stockslagers on a crisp Autumn day and grabbed yourself a bunch of spring-blooming bulbs, you might feel like you’re “under the gun” to get them in the ground as soon as possible. Or maybe you haven’t gotten the chance to stop by the garden center this fall, and you’re worried that come spring, your landscaping will be dull, colorless, and lacking in beautiful tulips, crocus, daffodils, and allium!

We have good news for you. It’s never too late to plant bulbs. (Yes, really!) All you need is to know the best tips and tricks to getting these spring beauties to bloom.

The Best Time to Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Ideally, you want to plant bulbs in autumn, when the ground is still soft and workable. Thing is, you don’t want to plant them too early in the season.

Planting bulbs too early can leave them susceptible to rot. If you put them in the ground in late August or early September, they might even be tricked into thinking its spring, and try to bloom! If you plant too early, they won’t bloom when they’re supposed to. Spring-flowering bulbs need time to chill in the ground before spring in order to bloom.

The best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs is late Autumn. This gives them time to chill before spring. But what if you missed the boat on the best time to plant bulbs? Can you still plant them in November, December and beyond?

Plant Bulbs in Winter for Later Blooms

After the first frost or snow storm, you might assume that your bulb-planting days are over. But as long as the ground is workable, you can plant bulbs! This means that you can plant bulbs as late as January – if you can dig a hole deep enough to plant.

Plant tulips and daffodils as late as the end of January! This way, they’ll develop roots through the spring, and bloom later than usual.

Keep in mind that bulbs planted in late January may have smaller blooms. On the other hand, planting bulbs in the winter can have a protective effect on bulbs. The ground will freeze faster after planting, which protects bulbs from hungry squirrels!

Tips to Planting Bulbs in Winter

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re planting bulbs in late winter or early spring.

  • Improve your chances of bulbs blooming early and robustly by covering them in plastic and chilling them in the refrigerator until they sprout. (This process can take up to three months.) These bulbs can be planted in late spring.
  • Don’t let snow scare you off from planting bulbs. You can brush the snow away and dig – the ground is only frozen on the surface.
  • Can’t plant your bulbs right away after buying them? Store them in a cool, dry place. Submerging them in water will prevent them from drying out.

Ask Stockslagers Your Toughest Gardening Questions!

You could garden for a lifetime and still not know everything. That’s why the professional gardeners at Stockslagers are here to answer your toughest questions. We have friendly and knowledgeable gardeners on staff at all times, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the right information, and the finest plants.

Stop on by Stockslagers Greenhouse and Garden Center for a wide variety of spring-flowering bulbs! Whether you’re looking for tulips, daffodils, allium, crocus, or paperwhites, we have everything you need to keep your garden colorful and glorious all year ‘round.

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