Bulbs forum: Spring bloomers - out of season

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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Dec 18, 2016 10:02 AM CST
For several years now we come across articles and news messages that spring bulbs are up early, somethimes as early as December. This year seems no different.

Although saying I'd wait with planting my bulbs 'till this month, I couldn't wait and put them in beginning of October. With the mild - and comparatively dry - weather we've had this fall, my tulips are almost pushing through the leaf mulch already. No sign of the Camassias though, but I'm positive they'll follow this or next month too if we don't get any frost soon.

Anyone else with this 'problem'? Discuss here and better yet, share your pics Thumbs up
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Dec 18, 2016 7:35 PM CST
In my mostly frost free environment, this is early for cold weather....unlike last year. I'm thinking I should have planted bulbs! Mother Nature is playing with us this year. Most bulbs don't do well on long term, due to lack of chill, but we are early for frost like temps. My Narcissus are just finishing already. It all depends on where you live.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
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Cem9165
Dec 18, 2016 8:11 PM CST
My muscari leaves have been up for months, and my previously planted N. Tahiti, N. Sir Winston, tulip La Courtine and Hyacinth Fondant leaves are showing.

We were in a level 2 drought, and our temps stayed warm later this year, then winter showed up 2-3 weeks ago. Today, we were in the 60's, and we're back at 34 degrees right now, no wonder the bulbs are confused.

This year, I deliberately waited to plant my bulbs, so that the ground was cooler, and the first set were planted on November 19th. Those have already rooted.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Sweden
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William
Dec 22, 2016 6:44 AM CST
I was just out checking and Camassia 'Blue Heaven' is starting to push through the ground. I had no idea Camassia would do that, so thanks for the heads up, Lee-Roy Thumbs up .

I planted my last tulips at the end of October and then we immediately got one week of severe frost and snow in early November with the ground frozen 3 inches deep. We had temperatures down to -7℃/19.4℉ and it stayed frozen during the day. Even though it went mild and frost free again, I would say the soil was plenty cool after that, so no tulips sprouting here Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! .
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 22, 2016 10:23 PM CST
I planted a lot of bulbs in November. Some of the muscari and crocus have leaves already, frozen solid. One daffodil (out of about 80) has also popped up. I hope they survive...somehow.
Keep going!
Sweden
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Hellebores Deer
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Dec 23, 2016 2:46 AM CST
Jai, If you by muscari mean the common Muscari armenicum then it will be fine. It's perfectly normal for it to put up leaves very early in the autumn. Next year when they are more established they will probably be up earlier, provided there is enough moisture. Here they are usually up by September. Even if the foliage gets a bit damaged from cold, it's unlikely to affect the blooms. I had deer chewing the leaves down to the ground during winter, yet they have bloomed the following spring.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Dec 23, 2016 11:48 AM CST
It is normal for Muscari to send up leaves in the Fall. Many year ago I learned a trick.,,,,,,,

Have you ever go to plant bulbs in a garden that already have bulbs planted? You start digging and you hit a bulb that you planted last year. If you circle your bulbs with Muscari you will know where there is already a bulb planted because the leaves of the Muscari will mark where the previous yr bulbs are planted.
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Dec 23, 2016 1:35 PM CST
Lovely tip Cinta, but only for those who actually like Muscari :p I for one find them ugly Thumbs down
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Dec 24, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Arico said:Lovely tip Cinta, but only for those who actually like Muscari :p I for one find them ugly Thumbs down


Big Grin If a plant is fragrant I will plant it. I let them multiply like crazy around my pond. Sitting by the pond and the fragrance is awesome.
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Dec 26, 2016 8:44 AM CST
I am zone 8b and have daffs up.
Sweden
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William
Jan 13, 2017 7:45 AM CST
I think is interesting is to note how much abuse many spring bulbs can take. Some observations and thoughts and a few images from the database to illustrate, but no current images:

A while back we had a few cold nights with temperatures down to -15℃/ 5℉. No protecting snow cower. We still have frozen ground but the foliage is completely thawed since a few days. Time to assess the damage before we freezes again.

As expected the snowdrops are unharmed and with nice fat buds. I have never experienced freeze damage on snowdrops.


I noted that Anemone coronaria sustained lighter damage, but I still have hopes for a good spring bloom.


Ipheon uniflorum is also damaged as it likes to start to grow early in the autumn. Ipheon is a nice bulb, but as it seems dependent of a mild winter for best development I may let it go. When viewed from a distance the common Scilla looks almost identical and is much more floriferous in my climate. They are also basically available in the same colors, but I think the Scilla are less susceptible to fade in strong sun. It's also earlier, tolerates more shade and naturalizes better for me. Does anyone grow both? If so, which do you prefer?


Allium 'Summer Drummer' is interesting in that it's up around 4-5 inches already, but looked unharmed. I've read dutch recommendation to plant this one early for best development, so I did. Now the question is, will it be able to survive the winter? I've also read recommendations from the Latvian bulb grower Jāņa Dukaļska that 'Summer Drummer' should be planted late as to avoid early growth, as it can be damaged by frost. I'm somewhere in between the mild Dutch climate and the Latvian, so will be interesting to note what works best here. It should really be a very tall growing Allium, but I believe @jmorth mentioned in another thread that it was shorter growing for him? Is it possible that winter cold disrupts its growth as it is inclined to start growing very early?



Finally I want to celebrate the tulip. Of course they are very tolerant of freezes when in bud, but I've had early potted tulips in full bloom coming straight from my unheated greenhouse, yet managing night temperatures down to -7℃/19.4℉ outdoors unprotected. The stems where completely bent and I though for sure I lost them, yet they survived. They where allowed to thaw in the shade as direct sun after frost can be potentially harmful. I don't remember which cultivar this was, but I'm fairly certain it was a kaufmanniana.


Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 13, 2017 7:56 AM CST
I've seen unprotected sprouted tulips withstand -30F and continue to grow/bloom. I sincerely don't know how they do it.
Keep going!
Sweden
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Hellebores Deer
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Jan 13, 2017 9:59 AM CST
Jai, good report Thumbs up . -30℉ equals -34.4℃ and that is very, very cold. Did you have a snow cover?
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 13, 2017 8:22 PM CST
From what I remember there was some "leftover" snow from the previous few days but it was patchy and didn't cover anything. The tulips were in a raised bed and I bent down to look at them and they were absolutely rigid. A couple nights later the temperature had risen 50 degrees but was still only 20F. But at 20F they looked happy and bright (not rigid). lol
Keep going!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Jan 25, 2017 7:30 AM CST
William, I'm very fond of any little bulbs with blue blooms and have various scilla, chionodoxa, and ipheon varieties in the garden. The scillas and chionodoxas definitely perform more vigorously and increase nicely both from offsets and seedlings. The ipheons have been slower to increase, but have returned well and are forming thicker clumps. They bloom later than the others and I do enjoy combining them with other plants that bloom at the same time, but if I had to choose I would pick scilla because they provide such vivid blue when there are few if any other plants that color blooming. Ipheon bloom when lots of other bulbs and perennials are providing color, so I wouldn't miss those as much. I have found the species I. uniflorum increases faster than Wisley Blue and Rolf Feidler.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jan 25, 2017 3:33 PM CST
The bulbs that I did the no dig were up because for almost two weeks we were in 50s then we stayed above freezing. I went back with another layer of mulch. If I had not noticed the advanced forcast that we were going to stay above freezing for the. next couple weeks I would not have added cover.

If any did not see my no dig. I did my quick late season planting process.....
.lay down bags of leaves
then bags of top soil
open bulb bags drop them down
cover with more top soil
cover with leaves
top with mulch

By the end of next summer they pull themselves down into the soil without me having to dig. These are end of the season sales that I do not have time nor do I have what it takes to dig holes five hundred holes for all the sale bulbs.
Sweden
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Hellebores Deer
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Jan 25, 2017 9:30 PM CST
Neal, thanks for sharing your experience with Ipheon. It's a good point that there may be performance differences between between cultivars and the species Smiling . My own bulbs wasn't true to name and turned out to be a mixture and I have noticed that some individuals seems less susceptible to freeze damage than others.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
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Cem9165
Jan 25, 2017 9:40 PM CST
I've noticed that one of my neighbors has a few clumps of daffodils already blooming.

My Ice King is quite far along so early in the season, and at this rate they may bloom in the next few weeks.

Several of my other daffs and many of my newly planted tulips and hyacinths are also several inches out of the ground.

Ice King
Thumb of 2017-01-26/Cem9165/1ee7ba

"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Sweden
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Hellebores Deer
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Jan 26, 2017 5:52 AM CST
Amazing, regardless of weather we would never have that early daffodils and I'm pretty sure my tulips are still several inches below surface.
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Jan 26, 2017 6:05 AM CST
My tulips that have come up months ago seem to have been frozen in time; litterally. We've had mild frosts for weeks now and they just sit it out.
Outer leaves of the noses have been nibbled on by slugs, but there's undamaged growth underneath so I'm not worried. I do long for spring time so badly. I'm feeling itchy and can't wait to get busy again Blinking

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