When fundraising with flowers, it is important to know when to plant the bulbs and when to expect them to grow. We thought we would address this topic to make it easier for everyone to understand and plant successfully.
We will start with a little background information.
What is a Bulb?
The word “bulb” is used to describe plants growing from an underground mass of food storage tissues. In other words, the storage tissue is like the bulb’s lunch box, packed with enough food for the whole growing season!
Bulbs are divided into two categories based on when they bloom.
Spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, are planted in the fall.
Those are the bulbs you buy during the Fall fundraiser which starts in May and ends in October. You will eventually plant those bulbs in the fall and expect them to bloom in the spring, hence the name ‘Spring Flowering Bulbs‘.
They are also called hardy bulbs because they survive cold winter conditions. In fact, they need exposure to cold temperatures in order to flower properly. The exact timing for planting hardy bulbs varies by region, but they need to be in the ground before it freezes.
Bulbs develop their roots soon after planting, and then lie dormant during much of the winter. When the weather begins to warm, they draw on that “lunch box” of stored energy to produce leaves and stems, and then flowers. Some bulbs, such as crocus, require fewer cold hours and less warming to bloom, so their flowers emerge in early spring. Others, including tulips, need a longer cooling period and warmer temperatures to emerge, so they bloom later in the spring. The differences among bloom times allow you to plan a bulb garden that will bloom for weeks and weeks!
If hardy bulbs don’t get enough chilling, they may not bloom at all or if they do, their flower stalks may be stunted. Some regions in the United States are too warm to successfully grow hardy bulbs. To find out whether your region is suitable for the bulbs you want to buy, you can head to our website, where we have all the information you need about your zone.
Summer-flowering bulbs, including dahlias and gladiolus, are planted in the spring. Those are the bulbs you buy during the Spring fundraiser which starts in January through till May. You eventually plant those bulbs in May and expect them to bloom in the summer, hence the name ‘Summer flowering bulbs‘.
They are tender and do not survive cold winter conditions, so we plant them in the spring after the last chance of hard frost has passed, and enjoy their blossoms in the summer.
After planting, they grow much the same way as spring-flowering bulbs, and produce and store food for next year. Most keep their leaves and continue to photosynthesize until fall temperatures turn cool. In northern climates, gardeners must dig up tender bulbs and store them in a dark place that stays cool enough to keep them from sprouting prematurely. Where winters are warm enough, it’s safe to leave tender bulbs right in the ground. It is important to know the hardiness zone of your bulbs to determine the proper care.
We hope that we were able to shed enough light on the bulbs you buy during the Fall Fundraiser (Spring Flowering Bulbs) and Bulbs you buy during the Spring Fundraiser (Summer Flowering Bulbs). If you have any questions, please let us know! We have experts who can help you, not only with your fundraiser, but also with your gardening!