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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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Overwintering Calla Lilies


“I am hoping to overwinter my calla lilies in the cool of my basement! Will this work and any advice?” Question from Robin Van Vleet of Warner, New Hampshire
Answer: Excellent question, Robin! Calla lilies (Zantedeschia spp.) originate from southern Africa and naturally tend to bloom from late spring to midsummer, though they can be forced to bloom at other times of the year. Wintertime is […]

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Garden Preparation for Northern Gardeners


“What needs to be done in the garden to prep for winter? Only in Wyoming for two years, and I have container gardened because I didn’t have land.” Question from Susan of Basin, Wyoming
Answer: Garden and container garden prep for winter depends on what you are growing, but there are a few steps you will want to follow, especially in really cold-winter climates like […]

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