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When is the Best Time to Plant Spring Bulbs?


“When is the best time to plant spring bulbs?” Question from Donna of Smithfield, Pennsylvania
Answer: Fall is the best time to plant bulbs–starting in late September and ending in late November. This is the ideal window, but I have even planted bulbs in December when the soil could be worked, and the flowers appeared as expected in spring. Just don’t wait until the soil […]

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What Bulbs Can I Force in a Vase?


“Other than hyacinths, which bulbs can I force in a hyacinth vase?” Question from Robin of Warner, New Hampshire
Answer: There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing bulbs to force in hyacinth vases. Only certain bulbs can be easily forced, in water, gravel, or soil, during the winter months. And, most require a chilling period before they are forced or sold for […]

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How Should I Overwinter Gladiolus in Southern Florida?


“We live in Miami and planted gladiolus bulbs this spring. They bloomed beautifully! How are we supposed to cut them, so they bloom next spring? Should we dig them up or just cut the leaves?” Question from Brenda of Miami Florida
Answer: Gladiolus hybrids will thrive year-round as perennials in your Miami garden (USDA Hardiness Zone 10), so they don’t need to be dug up […]

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I Live in California and Some of My Bulbs Didn’t Bloom This Year. Why?

Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
“Some of my bulbs didn’t flower this year. Is it something I did or didn’t do? The bulbs were paperwhites and another I cannot remember the name of. ” Question from Jamie of Paso Robles, California.
Answer: Paperwhites are native to Mediterranean regions and quite tender. They grow and flower best in areas with winters that don’t dip below 20°F, and summers are quite […]

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Can You Identify This Unusual Bulb for Me?


“I’ve tried and tried to find the ID of these beautiful flowers. Any help would be appreciated.”  Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: This beautiful, unique bulb is Mediterranean Bells Allium (Nectaroscordum siculum (aka. Allium siculum)). It is native to Southwest Europe and Turkey where it grows in sun-dotted woods, though it also grows beautifully in full sun. It makes an excellent cut […]

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How Do I Grow Daffodils Down South?


“We moved to Jasper, TX from Jefferson City, MO and I am having trouble getting my favorite bulbs, daffodils, to grow.  What suggestions might you have?” Question from Betsy of Jasper, Texas
Answer: You moved from a USDA Hardiness Zone 6 location to a USDA Hardiness Zone 8 location. Many daffodils will not grow well in Zone 8 because they need chillier winters to complete […]

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I Need Flower Design Help for My Sunny Kentucky Garden


“I have a large area to plant flowers in that gets full sun but I am not sure what design and mixture to use.” Question from Karen of Cannon, Kentucky
Answer: Most garden flowers grow best in fertile soil with excellent drainage. I recommend working up your soil to increase aeration and adding a fertile blend of compost (Black Gold Garden Compost Blend) and peat […]

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Why Won’t My Red Spider Lilies Bloom?


“I have red spider lilies that have never bloomed.  How can I get them to bloom?” Question from Teresa of Rincon, Georgia
Answer: Late-summer-blooming red spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) are really lovely with their bare scapes of spidery red flowers. Do yours produce nice, lush foliage early in the season, and have they been in the ground for long? Either way, there are several reasons […]

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How Do You Keep Spring Bulbs from Rotting?


“How do you keep spring bulbs from rotting?” Question from Pam of Fort Worth, Texas
Answer: There are several reasons your spring bulbs could be rotting. Here are a few possibilities and solutions.
Warm Zone Spring Bulbs
Your USDA Hardiness Zone 8 location is just on the edge of spring bulb-growing country. Most old-fashioned, cherished spring bulbs, like standard crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips, won’t survive in zones […]

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I Need a Well-Drained Seed-Starting Mix


“I am looking for a well-draining mix for my seeds. In particular for delphinium, foxglove, and hollyhock seeds. I want to use your compost mix with your seedling mix. Do you think it is too much?” Question from Deb of Lynbrook, New York.
Answer: Instead of compost, increase the drainage of your seed-starting mix with perlite. I would mix two parts Black Gold Seedling Mix with […]

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