Answer: Many plants, including most common bulbs, have an annual cycle of growth and rest. The hardy spring-bloomers, tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, rest during the hot summer and cold winter, and have adapted to having their spring alarm set so they won t wake up until spring has arrived for sure. The mechanism for this is the need for a certain number of chilling hours to break dormancy. For tender bulbs native to warmer climates (caladium, canna), their dormant period would naturally coincide with a season that does not support growth (too dry, hot, cold, etc.).
If your cold-hardy bulbs don t get adequate chilling (6-10 weeks at near-freezing temperatures), then they won t bloom. Place them in a paper bag and place them in the drawer of your refrigerator. Then plant after the chilling period.
Q&A Library Searching Tips