Does more shade mean bulbs pierce the ground later?
I have planted two kinds of tulips, four kinds of ornamental onions, crocus, two kinds of fritillaria and quamash in my South-West facing front yard last fall. I also divided three hostas at that time (October) and replanted their babies in nine different spots. I used pine needle (acid) winter mulch, about three inches thick, all over the front yard.
The facade of my house is totally symmetrical, with the front porch dead center. Most of the bulbs are planted on either side of the porch, close to the wall, while some are planted in front of the porch, on either side of the stairs.
The right side of my planting, to the right of the porch, is a full sun location. It gets really hot and at this time of the year, although the days are still kinda short, it gets at least eight hours of direct sunlight on any given sunny day. Most of the bulbs I remember planting near the wall there are up, look healthy and most tulips are already showing buds. The daffodils near this location that I planted two years ago are also greening up and showing buds (much more buds than last year, some bulbs having three buds, to my delight). So far, I have been able to identify various onions and two kinds of tulips growing there happily. I even have an onion that was only supposed to bloom two to three years from the time of planting and it has a flower bud! Obviously, everything I planted in this location is perfectly happy (I gave them a healthy dose of shrooms at the time of planting).
However, I also planted anemones right in that spot, and there is absolutely no sign of them, even though they should bloom real soon. Now, I know that anemones need to be really fresh and they have to be planted quite early, and I waited a bit before planting them, and this doesn't help the success rate. But I did give them shrooms and I soaked them for a day before planting them. So, maybe they are just stubborn little rhizomes and decided to just turn to mush underground.
On the same side, away from the wall, in front of the porch, I planted fritillaria, quamash and crocus. There is absolutely no sign of them, not even a bit of raised soil.
On the other side, to the left of the porch, I have planted the exact same bulbs but placed differently as I don't like perfectly symmetrical plantings. The only difference is that there are no anemones and no crocus there. While the bulbs on the right, sunny side of the porch first showed up about three weeks ago, on the left side, there is absolutely nothing. No matter where I pull the mulch aside, there is naught but flat, black soil. This location gets much less sun as well because the porch is blocking out the sun. It does get a few hours of piercing evening sun, but other than that, it only gets day-long, heavily filtered sunlight.
I replanted hosta divisions more or less equally on both sides, and I see a few on both sides with growing tips, so no difference between the two sides as far as hostas are concerned.
My question is whether my bulbs on the left side of the porch are going to come up all the same but with some delay. The soil is supposed to be the same on both sides, and other than the sunlight, all conditions are the same. Squirrels have been active this spring, but they hate the pine mulch, so they never dug deeper than an inch. Can a lack of sunlight affect the time the bulbs come up this much? If that's the case, I am quite happy because this adverse effect means that overall spring bulb blooming will be much longer than expected. If not, then I dread having planted a bunch of expensive, high quality bulbs only to see them become compost the year after.
What do you think? In case some of you think that the bulbs to the left of the porch are goners, would you care to explain to me why that would be?
I have good, natural soil with hardly any fertilizer ever getting to it. It has a well balanced mix of sand, loam and clay, with the occasional gravel given that, before the house was built, the plot was part of a mine. Much of the front yard is shaded in summer as there are two huge silver maples overshadowing it (which have no leaves at the time bulbs are active). It is high in organic matter as a portion of the maple leaves are left on the ground in fall and we use pine needles as well. There is not much root competition as there are only small patches of lamium, a little bit of physostegia (mostly in shade so it takes over veeeeery slowly), tansy and hostas for the moment (I only started landscaping the front yard two years ago) and a creepy-crawly geranium that moves to a different spot each year all on its own, as well as a couple of young lavenders and a couple of pinks.
I will post pictures shortly, I just have to wait for the sun to come out to make good pictures so you can see the difference between the two sides.