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What are the Best Perennials for Foundation Plantings?

Large, showy perennials with a long season of interest make the best foundation perennials.
“What are the best perennial plants to use for foundation planting? [I need] something to cover a fairly tall, 5ft swath of concrete foundation. Thank you!” Question from Trish of Newton, New Jersey
Answer: There are lots of wonderful garden perennials ideal for foundation plantings. Those that I recommend the most are long-lived, […]

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How and When Should I Transplant Daffodils and Iris Growing In My Lawn?


“I have had some Iris’s and Daffodils shoot up in my yard. I love these flowers, and would like to know when would be a good time to dig them up and move them so I don’t cut them down with a lawnmower.” Question from Stacey of Hueytown, Alabama
Answer: Bulbs are pretty when they flower in lawns, but mowing their tops does disable them […]

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My Spring Bulbs Seem to Be Emerging Early. Will It Hurt Them?

 

“Winter is not over, but we have had warm spells. Daffodils are already pushing up. Will another hard freeze kill them?” Question from Richard of Winston Salem, North Carolina
Answer: You need not worry. It is not uncommon to see blooming bulbs in the snow, daffodils included. That’s because most of these early bulbs are very tough and resilient to spring cold snaps. It would […]

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What Are These Little Blue and White Spring Flowers in My Garden?


“Could you please tell me the name of this flower? It’s a perennial and has spread some.” Question from Ray of Boliver, New York
Answer: You are the lucky owner of a population of very pretty bulbs called striped squill (Puschkinia scilloides). This early spring flowers naturally spread but are not invasive. The blue-striped blooms are very attractive to early bees and have a delicately […]

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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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