Zone 9 Daffodils - Knowledgebase Question

San Gabriel, CA
Question by MoyPat
September 30, 1999
I have just purchased my bulbs and we are in a Heat Wave well over 100, so I have not planted yet. Should I just wait a few weeks, I'm so worried they will just die out there. (Daffodils)

I have planted paper whites in clay pots and brought them all indoors.

Thank you any advice will be great. I'm very new at gardening but having fun !


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Answer from NGA
September 30, 1999

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To grow the classic spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, and crocus, you need to do some extra work. These bulbs need a certain amount of chilling, which they won't get in your climate. To mimic cooler climates, place these bulbs in a paper bag in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks before planting. You'll need to repeat this chilling next fall--dig up the bulbs, place them in the 'fridge for 4+ weeks, and replant. Daffodils usually survive and continue to flower without being dug and chilled each year.

General guidelines for planting bulbs:

Check out local garden centers; when bulbs are available locally it's a good indication that it's time to plant in your region.

Plant in well-drained soil. Follow label instructions for depth of planting--it's different for each bulb. A general rule of thumb is to plant at a depth 3 times the diameter of the bulb.

You can add bonemeal or Bulb Booster to the planting hole; never add strong fertilizer or manure.

After flowering, trim dead flowers but leave foliage to die back naturally.

Water well after planting.

Good luck with your new garden!

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