The Q&A Archives: early blooming bulbs

Question: I planted Tulips, in Nov. and today 12/16/08 they are begining to grow. I am from outside of Trenton NJ. Can I stop/slow them or cover them with mulch to protect them. Why would they come up now? Did I plant them at the wrong time?. Any info you can give me would be great. Thanks Dave

Answer: I know it seems alarming that your spring flowering bulbs are already showing but they will be just fine. As the weather cools they will stop growing and will wait patiently for warmer spring temperatures before continuing to grow. They will flower right on time. You can cover them with mulching material (shredded leaves, straw or even pine boughs) to help insulate them against snow and ice. Your planting schedule was just fine. Normally the bulbs will spend several months developing roots before they sprout. The bulbs you planted may have been stored in an overly warm place prior to your purchase and planting and that's what prompted their early growth. Now that they are in the ground, the colder temperatures will retard any further growth and they should be just fine. Enjoy!

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