Shifted Flower Bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Quinton, VA
Question by Pepper1
May 9, 1999
In early spring of this year, I planted canna, Asiatic Lilly and other summer-blooming bulbs in carefully laid out rows. Now that they are coming up, they are not where I originally planted them. For example, cannas and glads are intermingled. Lillies are coming up in places I did not place the bulbs. How/why did the bulbs shift after I planted them, and how can I ever have a planned, organized bulb garden in the future?


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Answer from NGA
May 9, 1999

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If you are careful, you can most likely move the cannas and glads without much trouble. If the lilies and other bulbs are still fairly short, you may be able to transplant them now, too. (Otherwise wait until fall). Be sure they are well watered the day before, dig with as nice a rootball as you can get and replant immediately at the same depth they were growing, and then water them in. Keep an eye on the water afterwards just as you would for any transplant. I'm not sure why the bulbs shifted but I can think of a possibility or two -- critters (squirrels for example) dug and then hoarded them, a small child dug them up and "helped" you garden (I did this once as a very small child) or someone has played a trick on you! Good luck with your bulbs!

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