Planting divided bulbs now?

SCKatMay 7, 2012

We have just moved into our new house so I missed being able to plant bulbs last fall. I'd like to plant Bearded Iris, tulips and daffodils. I've seen some auctions on ebay where people have divided their bulbs and are selling them. My question is is this time of the year okay to plant the bulbs? I know they won't come up this year. Or should I buy the bulbs and store them somehow?

I know I can wait until the fall to plant, but buying a lot on ebay of divided bulbs seems like an easy way to get a good variety. I just don't know if the bulbs will be available to buy in the fall.


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meditating(8, Central SC)

I do hope someone will answer this question because mine is similar. I have a back injury and can't handle the stress of planting bulbs. I purchased $300 worth of bulbs for a friend to plant this spring when she came for a week visit. They are spring and summer bulbs (iris, glads, dahlias, lillies).

She ended up having a severe allergic reaction to a brazil nut and spent most of her time in the hospital so the bulbs were never planted.

I now have someone who is willing to plant the bulbs tomorrow. It just occurred to me they may all just die, but I assumed if they missed their growing season they would just come up next year instead. Is that correct? Thanks so much :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:44PM
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hi mediating, my dilemma is the same, even hospitalization (just not for allergic reactions). i have dahlia's and glads that are splitting/rooting/off-shooting (i don't know what to call it...??) and they're still in the bag (i got them from HD). i'm anxious to plant them as i'm getting the garden together and deciding where to put/plant new stuff around my existing blooming stuff.

thanks for any info anyone can provide. i may just plant them and cross my fingers!

angela :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:41PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

meditating - since all yours are Summer flowering bulbs they would be fine planted now. They have not missed their growing season but they may be a little late.

The OP asked about daffodils and tulips which are Spring flowering bulbs normally planted in Autumn, except in warm Winter places where they need to be refrigerated. I don't know if SC 8 would be such a place. I would have reservations about the quality of divided bulbs off ebay. They may be fine but could equally be too small to bloom for several years. You have no way of knowing what you're getting. With tulips especially it may be utterly pointless planting someone's divided bulbs. They may never flower for you. If you are willing to take a gamble, fine, but if you want guaranteed flowers next spring I'd stick to a reputable source.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:39AM
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Thanks Flora_UK for your post!

The tulips and daffodils I'm not really worried about planting until fall. I guess I just thought I could plant everything now and get in all done at once.

Can I plant Irises now?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:47PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes - you can plant irises now.

But what I was trying to warn you about was not so much the timing of the planting but the quality of divided bulbs off e bay. Irises are pretty safe, daffs could be OK. But I'd be extremely wary of tulips. They seldom make bulbs of flowering size from the bulblets which split off after the first year.

And is the seller giving any idea of the cultivar names? I'd really recommend buying named bulbs of flowering size from a reputable vendor.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 4:44PM
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The seller (s), or at least most of them didn't know or had lost the name tags.

I have been obsessing over different websites the last few weeks trying to figure out what to do/plant. Each bulb or Rhizome I see is between $5 and $12. Is that a normal price? The only irises I have ever grown is one I was given in a pot. I forgot it at my old house when we moved last year. So, the only thing I really know about irises is that I love them! :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 6:34PM
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meditating(8, Central SC)

How very kind to receive some assistance. Thank both of you for your kind responses.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:56PM
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