The Q&A Archives: Planting Bulbs Upside Down & Late

Question: Is it OK to plant bulbs without the point of the bulb facing up and is it ok to plant them in late winter for spring bloom?

Answer: Well, the answer is "it depends". On some bulbs (or corms) such as crocus it can be difficult to tell which end is up and in general they seem to grow just fine regardless. The larger bulbs such as tulips and daffodils, however, seem to do better planted "pointy end up".

Winter planting is always an iffy proposition, but since the alternative is usually to throw away the bulbs, in my opinion it's better to give it a shot as long as the bulbs are not moldy or soft. They will need to spend time rooting and need a chilling period prior to blooming, so they may come up late and may or may not bloom this spring. Those that survive, however, should settle in and bloom normally the following year.

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