Fall Planting Bulbs & Bare Roots
Spring's earliest flowers are planted in fall! Fall-planted flower bulbs, including popular Daffodils, Tulips, Alliums, Snowdrops, and more, must be planted in fall to receive adequate time chilling in the ground. If you live in a warm, frost-free climate, you can refridgerate fall-planted bulbs for 12 weeks before planting to ensure beautiful blooms.
- Plant bulbs when average night temperatures are in the 40 to 50F range to prevent rot or disease issues. This is usually about four weeks before your last frost.
- Make it easy on yourself from the beginning by mixing a wheelbarrow of half organic compost and half native soil to amend each hole before planting.
- For bulbs, dig a small hole with a depth of two to three times the height of the bulb, leaving an inch of crumbly and workable soil in the bottom. Add another inch of amended soil, plant the bulb right side up and fill the hole with native or amended soil.
- Don’t forget to mark your bulb planting site with sticks or markers to avoid accidentally digging them up later.
Bare roots are planted in a similar way; however, it’s best to consult the packaging or web page instructions for specific planting depths and other important points. Some crowns must be placed inches below the soil line, while others should be exactly in-line with the soil. While some bare roots are woody and bulbous, others have many tender, stringy appendages that should be spread out evenly in all directions at planting time.
Click the button below to visit "The Tool Shed," your source for detailed planting guides on some of our most popular flower bulbs.
Explore Popular Fall-Planted Flower Bulbs
When is fall planting NOT a good idea?
If you are planting a shrub or perennial that is at the very edge of winter hardiness for your area, it is best to wait until early spring when it will be given the luxury of a long growing season to fully establish itself. Messing with those tender roots so close to winter is a bad idea. However, if you ordered last spring, and never managed to get a zone-marginal plant in the ground (hey, it happens!), put the pot in a sheltered location where it can still benefit from rain, and cover it with a heavy layer of mulch for the winter. In mid-spring, uncover and plant according to specific directions.