Will my bulbs bloom the first year?

anitapita(Zone 5 (Iowa))May 6, 2008

Hello! I planted some bulbs, mostly Day Lilies, Freesia and Acidanthera. I am in zone 5 and I planted about 2 weeks ago. My mom said they probably won't get flowers the first year. She said that is the case with tulips and some others she has planted.

Will I have flowers this year? It didn't mention anything in the instructions.


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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

I don't know much about acidanthera, but the freesia should bloom for you, and you should get something from the daylillies as long as the root you planted wasn't too small. Daylillies are tough and will get bigger and better for you every year, so if you only get one scape this year, don't worry.

Freesia and (I think)acidanthera aren't hardy in zone 5, so if you want to keep them over the winter, you'll have to dig them up and store them in a cool area that doesn't freeze.

By the way, tulips always bloom for me the first spring after planting. It's a crap shoot after that, though. Or did your mom mean that tulips don't bloom in the fall, when they are planted?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:09PM
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anitapita(Zone 5 (Iowa))

Thanks for your response. My mom mentioned that some people here plant bulbs here in the fall, I think maybe she meant so they bloom early? I am looking forward to some flowers this summer. I planted 6 day lily roots and I did notice one or two of them seemed much smaller than the others. So maybe I won't get any out of those. Either way, I'll be happy with any flowers I get. =)


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:00PM
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My freesia didn't bloom the first year but I planted them in the summer closer to fall (years ago before I had any clue as to what I was doing). The next year they came up brilliantly though and have bloomed ever since.

I have tulip bulbs here that were here when I moved in. Some have bloomed both springs we have been here, some only bloomed last year, some have only bloomed this year and some haven't bloomed at all. I have, however, never planted tulip bulbs.

One of my freesia.. probably about the size of a quarter if that...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:26PM
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anitapita(Zone 5 (Iowa))

Thank you for posting that pic. It is so pretty! I hope I planted mine early enough for them to bloom this year. I did 3 pots of them! =)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 6:41PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Just so you know, anitapita, there are actually two main bulb planting seasons: fall and spring. In the fall, we plant spring bloomers like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, etc. In the spring, we plant summer bloomers: dahlias, gladiolas, cannas, caladiums, etc.

Technically, daylilies are perennials, not bulbs, though their roots are food storers, therefore, they are often sold by bulb companies. Don't be alarmed come fall when the daylilies "die" back to the ground. They will re-emerge bigger and better next year and ready to really strut their stuff. This year, you want to see good green healthy foliage. Any blooms will be icing on the cake (and an indication that you did a really superior job of soil preparation). You're going to love them! Plant a few annuals around them so you'll have color this year regardless and then next year get ready for a great ride!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:41PM
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anitapita(Zone 5 (Iowa))

Thank you for all this information. Growing up, I always worked in the garden with my parents (vegetables) but I don't really know much about flowers. My husband and I just bought a house and this is my first year being able to have my own garden! I have lived in apartments for many years. I planted a few things here and there in pots as an experiment to see what I could grow.

I would love to plant tulips and daffodils! When in the fall do I plant those? Before the first frost? Any tips would be appreciated as I don't know much about annuals and perrenials other than the meaning of the words.

Also, I have a shady strip along the edge of my garage. It probably gets some direct sunlight for a few hours each day. Any suggestions on what I could plant in that area?


    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:14PM
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Morning or afternoon sun?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:26PM
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anitapita(Zone 5 (Iowa))

Morning sun.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:43PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Here's a (rather overwhelming) list of shade plants, and you can also ask/search over at the Gardening in Shade forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants for shade

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 7:41PM
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We just did a raised bed beside our garage. I went with a few common flavors of Hosta, Columbine, Jacob's Ladder, Bleeding Heart, Huchera, Lamium, Leopards Bane, and Jack Frost. In the front where the hot afternoon shines we added a Summersweet (Clethra?). Those were recommendations from our local nursery though. Maybe browsing your local nursery could yield some suggestions for your zone as well.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:30AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I have a sun/shade problem in a back bed behind the garage.

There's full sun from leaf drop in fall through leaf out in mid-spring.

Just found out bulbs I planted there in last fall's sun have to be moved because now they're in full shade and won't get sun to regenerate bulbs.

Have same worry about putting any "shade perennials" out there including ferns because of sunny condition from Nov. through May.

I've already got 4 Foxglove and 3 Lamium "Purple Dragon" to put back there and looking at varieties of Heuchera, Japanese Painted Fern and other perennials for shade figuring by the time they restart growth in spring they'll get enough shade by mid-spring not to get washed out or burned. Planning to supplement all that foliage with shade annuals for some added form, color and blooms.

I've got common variety of six dormant ferns sitting in the refrigerator hydrator waiting to be planted and don't think any of them can be planted in this spring/summer shade bed because of fall/early spring bright sun.

Don't know which forum is best to pose question of what to plant in garden with lots of afternoon sun Fall through mid-spring and full shade with nearby tree "leaf out through leaf drop"! Two inconsistent light conditions for most plants.

This particular bed faces West and is only 22' long by 3' deep between garage wall and back sidewalk so I can't go with anything too large for shade. Hopefully I'll figure out a balance of a few midsize things with smaller things to weave around them and vary/compliment color, foliage and form.

I lusted after a dwarf azalea but doubted that would blend with proportion/form of other plantings in that small space.

I really want this bed to look balanced but plant selection is proving to be a challenge for this totally novice gardener.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 12:01AM
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