The Q&A Archives: How long do bulbs last?

Question: Hi,

I've got quite a few tulip, mountain bells, daffodil, dutch iris, and lavender mountain lilies bulbs that I don't think I'll be able to plant before the frost hits (I'm in Zone 5). Is there a way for me to save these bulbs for planting next fall, or is it better to just plant them and take the chance of damaging them with a frost before they set down roots and get nutrients? Thank you!

Answer: You'll be doing your bulbs a favor by getting them into the ground before December. They are quite frost hardy and it won't matter if your garden has experienced a few frosts before they're planted. They will grow roots as long as the soil temperature is above freezing. They'll stop growing when it freezes and then begin growing again when soil temperature begin to warm. Go ahead and get them in the ground sometime within the next 6-8 weeks and they'll be just fine. If you don't plant them, they will perish.

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