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When to Plant Fall Flower Bulbs: Alaska

Region "P" — Alaska

Optimum Planting Time:

September 15th - October 15th

USDA Hardiness Zones:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Your area is large and variable. Most common are very long, dark, cold winters, short days and a short growing season. However, a little creativity can go a long way!

General Instructions:

Plant bulbs in the fall, starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50°F. But be sure to plant approximately six weeks before the ground freezes to allow sufficient time for rooting. Flower bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Fall bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb's tender roots.

Please note: Modern bone meal often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw, or chopped-up leaves) 2 — 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Plant your spring-flowering bulbs in warmer protected areas with less exposure to wind and extreme cold to extend the blooming season and protect early or late bloomers from extremes in temperature variation. If the spring is dry, water weekly while the foliage is green.

A Sampling of Flower Bulbs for Perennializing (Return for Several Years):

A Sampling of Bulbs for Naturalizing (Return & Multiply):

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