The Q&A Archives: Bulb Hardiness

Question: I have planted bulbs for many years in North Dakota with few problems. I am curious about one thing. Bulbs cannot be allowed to freeze. So how do they keep from freezing when our frost line is 6 feet below ground level? All of our water lines and basement foundations are 8 feet or lower to prevent damage.

Answer: Good question!

Actually, the recommendation to keep bulbs from freezing applies only to bulbs that haven't been planted. A bulb that is in the ground and growing is a much different plant physiologically than a bulb that is loose and out of the ground. Bulbs in the ground do actually freeze, but because their chemistry is so different than when dry and out of the ground, it doesn't harm them.

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