My bulbs are slow to come up

JoyBee(6)March 26, 2013

Hi, first time poster, my apologies for being long winded...

I live in Philadelphia and last November 6th I planted hundreds of bulbs in my front yard -- Daffodils, Tulips, Alium, Crocuses and Grape Hyacinth. I planted the bulbs in layers, in beds and used bone meal in the beds.

My yard does not get tons of sun, some morning, some late afternoon (more during the summer). I wasn't too concerned about the sun because my neighbor grows bulbs successfully and has the same amount of light. I put chicken wire down on top of the beds to deter the squirrels.

I would say the largest bulbs (daffodils) were planted at a depth of 9" - quite deep - but i was told to lean towards deeper then not deep enough. Unfortunately, I put a few inches of mulch down on the planted beds and did not account for it in the total planting depth. Realizing my mistake, I pulled most of the mulch back a few weeks ago.

It's now the end of March and for the last month the greens have been slowly emerging (they're all pretty stumpy) and so far i only have two crocuses with flowers. Bulbs in my neighborhood seem slow this year -- it's been pretty chilly -- but sunnier yards already have Crocus and Daffodils in full bloom. My husband is convinced I planted the bulbs too deep, but I just don't know.

If they are too deep, is it to late to pull them up closer to the surface? What can I do to try to fix the problem for next year? Perhaps it's something else entirely? Am I just being impatient?

I am so sad that I've messed this up! So far I have had plenty of luck with perennials and vegetables but I'm losing hope for my bulb beds :( Any thought/advice is appreciated!

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stimpy926

First bloom for newly planted bulbs takes longer than established bulbs. They'll be a week or 2 longer. The cold slows the growth as well. Deeper planted bulbs will take longer as well. These are all tough bulbs, they'll be fine. Don't pull up anything. Where bulbs are blooming now is because their exposure to the sun is most direct right now. All bulbs will bloom eventually, unless they're in a waterlogged poorly drained site. Deciduous shade is fine for bulbs, except the alliums, which need full sun.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:03PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Same as Paula said. When I get around to planting my bulbs in the fall most of the established bulbs that I accidentally dig up already have roots and have sprouts starting.... established bulbs will always be ahead by a week or even much more.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:09PM
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JoyBee(6)

Thank you so much for your input. I gives me some hope!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:40PM
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JoyBee(6)

I am thrilled to say that all of my bulbs emerged as soon as things started to warm up. Thank you so much for encouraging me to be patient!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:45AM
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