The Q&A Archives: Premature Bulb Foliage Growth

Question: I planted hyacinth and tulip bulbs two weeks ago, on October 11th. The weather's been a little warm,
and I just noticed that my bulbs have started growing--I see shoots a couple of inches tall. It's now
October 27th. Will my bulbs be okay for spring growth and bloom? What should I do?

Answer: I suspect the answer is that what you are seeing is normal -- if you planted grape hyacinths. These little bulbs normally sprout wisps of strappy grassy-looking foliage in the fall. This foliage stays through the winter and next spring the flower stems and more foliage will appear.

If your tulips are sprouting, (a wider paler blue-green and stiff nearly fleshy leaf) it might be because they were planted too shallowly. Ideally, they need to be set deep enough that there is about 6 inches of soil on top of the bulb. At this point, you might try covering them with a bit of mulch to protect the foliage from winter damage and to try to give them a bit more insulation during the colder months. When the weather turns cold they should stop growing until it warms up again next spring.

Good luck with your bulbs!

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