How Long Does It Take A Bulb To Grow? - Knowledgebase Question

Williamstown, PA
Avatar for supde
Question by supde
April 25, 2000
I live in zone 6 and have recently planted a bulb garden of Gladioli, Anemones, Crocosmia, and Peacock Orchids. I planted them after the last frost which was about two weeks ago - I even fertilized. I am eagerly waiting to see the results of my hard work appear, so far nothing. How long should it take growth to appear? How long should I wait until I know they are not going to grow and turn my bulb garden into an annual garden?

Answer from NGA
April 25, 2000
Bulbs are sensitive to soil temperature, so it may be quite some time before you see any action. It may also be since you planted so early when the soil was still cool, that they have rotted. This is especially possible if the location is not a very well drained one. In any case, the bulbs first need to grow roots and become established, and then they will send up top growth so I think you may still have a while to wait.

The glads take 70 to 90 days to bloom, and are usually planted in succession over about a ten week period to assure a progression of blooms in the garden. You could dig down very gently and see if they are rooting and sprouting, but it is still early. Once the soil warms up they should grow quickly.

The spring planted anemones prefer cool weather and should grow and bloom in June.

The crocosmia and peacock orchids are often grown in containers so that the soil temperature can be kept warm early in the season. They both bloom in late summer to early fall, so there is still plenty of time for them to sprout and grow, but they will not start growing much at all until the weather warms up.

These bulbs are all very upright growers, meaning they are tall and thin. Unless you planted them very close together, you may want to plant some annuals in between them. This will provide plenty of color all season long and provide a nice backdrop to be highlighted by the bulbs.

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