The Q&A Archives: Timing Bulbs for Spring Bloom

Question: I missed the fall planting time for bulbs. Should I wait for spring or should I plant the bulbs on a day I can get to the ground; it gets warm here in Bozeman, MT sometimes and I can get to the ground around the house)? I would like the flowers to bloom at their natural times, is that possible now? If I have to wait for spring, what can I expect for a blooming time? (Tulips, Narcissus, Hyacinth) Thanks for your help! Marni Leikin Bozeman, MT

Answer: Bulbs do alot of growing after they are planted in the fall. They put out roots and have a small amount of stem growth. Then they stop when the temperatures drop. You may be successful planting your bulbs when the ground thaws around your house but I can't say how much growth will occur after you plant them. That will depend on the temperatures that occur after that point in time. Bloom time will also depend on the amount of growth that occurrs so it's impossible to tell you what's going to happen. You can wait until spring but remember that the bulbs need about 6-8 weeks of cold temperatures before it's ready to bloom.

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