The Q&A Archives: Bulbs For Florida?

Question: My grandmother lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida and says she never sees bulbs in anyone's gardens. Why are bulbs a rarity in Florida? My grandmother wants to plant bulbs, particularly lilies. What are good types to plant and when?

Answer: Spring flowering bulbs such as crocus and daffodils need a chilling period in order for them to bloom. When they are planted in the fall in the north, the chilling period takes place naturally during the winter. The temperatures in Florida are generally not cold enough for a long enough period of time to enable the bulbs to bloom. Unfortunately this is true also for most lilies. Some forcing is possible for both spring bulbs and lilies by providing a cold period, and then planting the bulbs in pots for use outside. This is not really that difficult, but may take considerable refrigerator space if your grandmother really misses her bulbs! Check NGA's Article Library for The Indoor Tulips by Shila Patel for general information on forcing bulbs. Hope you can encourage your grandmother to have fun experimenting with the bulbs.

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