The Q&A Archives: Soaking Bulbs

Question: instructions coming with my perennial bulbs states to soak them in water before planting, but does not state how long. I have several varieties to plant including Monarda Didyma, aster, baboon root, delphinium, gladioli, blazing stars, canna, phlox, iris barbata. Thanks!

Answer: Dormant bare root plants such as monarda, aster, delphinium, phlox and the iris rhizome could be soaked in room temperature water for maybe an hour to begin rehydrating them before planting. Soak only the root, not the crown or stem. I would not soak the others, especially not the gladioli, babiana (baboon root), canna, or blazing stars. For all of these, at planting time you would water generously to settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets and to moisten it thoroughly to get them off to a good start.

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