Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Bulbs

Now is the time for planting fall bulbs!  Bulbs and rhizomes are some of my favorite things to plant for multiple reasons:

1.  High ROI (Return on Investment) - bulbs and rhizomes multiply pretty easily, so you can continue to spread them around your garden, or share them with a friend

2.  They make great cut flowers - they last a long time in the vase

3.  They are relatively easy to grow

4.  They come in such a variety of shapes and colors

This year, I'm planting some classics, along with some new varieties.

Here I have:
  • Allium 'Purple Sensation' (10 bulbs)
  • Daffodil 'Trumpet Mix' (47 bulbs)
  • Daffodil ' Replete' (12 bulbs)
  • Daffodil 'Unsurpassable' (25 bulbs)
  • Ranunculus 'Bright Mix' (25 bulbs)
  • Tulip 'Queen of the Night' (25 bulbs)
  • Hyacinth ' Shades of Purple' (28 bulbs)
  • Hyacinth 'Orientalis Mix' (6 bulbs)
  • Lycoris 'Radiata' (4 bulbs)
  • Lycoris ' Aurea' (2 bulbs)
I also ordered some more bulbs online that I couldn't find in the stores:

Here I have:

  • Astilbe Bridal Veil (2 clumps of rhizomes)
  • Astilbe Younique Carmine (1 clump of rhizomes)
  • Narcissus Erlicheer (10 bulbs)
  • Oxblood Lilies (6 bulbs)
  • Tulip Clusiana Lady Jane (10 bulbs)
  • Ranunculus Pastel Mix (10 rhizomes)
  • Ranunculus Rainbox Mix (10 rhizomes)
  • Ranunculus Picotee Mix (10 rhizomes)
  • Oxalis Iron Cross - Good Luck Plant (15 bulbs)

I was able to plant most everything directly into the ground.  However, the Dutch tulips and hyacinths required a bit more TLC.  They both need to be chilled in the crisper of the refrigerator (and away from fruit, like apples, that emits harmful gases) for 6-8 weeks before planting so that they get enough chill hours here in Texas.  I knew this about tulips, which is why I haven't planted any yet.  However, I was not aware this was the case for hyacinths as well.  Last fall I had planted quite a few which had no problem emerging this spring.  Maybe we happened to have a chillier winter than normal?

I really don't like the fact that I have to treat the tulips and hyacinths as annuals.  The only annuals I usually plant in my garden are self-seeding plants that last all spring and summer (like zinnias!).  I'm really all about the ROI of the plants (that's my finance background for ya!).  But, the tulips came with a bulb pack that I just couldn't pass up, so I'll be giving them a go this year.  I can't stand the idea of throwing the bulbs away next year, but I'm also not sure that I want to go through the hassle of storing them for months as well.  Maybe my family in the north with get lucky and I'll pass the bulbs off to them.  Or, I'll really enjoy the flowers that remind me of the Midwest and be willing to put up with the extra work for the beauties.  I'll just have to wait and see.

Additionally, I had an amaryllis and some paperwhite bulbs sitting around from last Christmas when I forced the bulbs inside.  I really should have planted the bulbs outside at that point so that they could store energy all summer long for the next bloom season.  But, at that point, I didn't have anywhere to plant them outside, so they remained inside, in their original pots.  

They should have probably been thrown away since they have been sitting around so long, but I thought I'd give them a shot, to see if they have anything left.  What does it hurt?  I'm not expecting anything this year, but maybe they will surprise me next year.


  1. I'm glad you gave the amaryllis another shot - they might surprise you. I've gotten lucky with a few forgotten bulbs that bounced back after being planted in the ground, though their bloom timing shifted considerably.

    Those Clusiana tulips are supposed to tolerate Texas conditions fairly well if I remember correctly. I can't wait to see your blooms this spring!

  2. Lots of "bubs" as they say in West Texas. They're very rewarding. I have some clusiana and they were lovely this past spring!