When to plant the Tulip Bulbs?

BrandNewHouseWife(Z5 ON Canada)October 1, 2005

I have purchased hundreds of Tulip Bulbs from COSCO. I lived in Oakville, Ontario. Zone 5. Should I plant them now?

I got about 50 Iris bulbs from the neighbourhood garden centre for free at the end of August, and they told me to plant them any time I want. I planted them at the beginning of September. Now, the leaves start to come out. What should I do? Cut down the leaves for winter?

Please advise. Thank you.

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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Hi, Plant the tulips now and let nature take its course on the Iris. If you get Iris from a nursery spcializing in Iris they always ship mid summer so you can plant them and let them get roots established before winter sets in. Sounds to me like everything is in order.....I hope you do not have too many deer as they just LOVE tulips...You'll never see a bloom. Trust me, I found out the hard way :o) Dan

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 8:21PM
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BrandNewHouseWife(Z5 ON Canada)

Hi Dan,
Thank you for your input! Although I live in suburban area, I don't have deer, I think my hubby would wish we had deer in my backyard so he can hunt them down. According to the books (sorry I know nothing about gardening, so I rely heavily on books and internet website), the best time to plant is after first frost, that will be the end of October. And yet, all my neighbours started planting their spring bulbs already. Not too many people just have tulips like me. I have only tulips and Fritillaria. The temperture during the day time is around 20 degree celcius.
I am thinking to start my first batch after Thanksgiving (Oct. 10). Should I plant the Fritillaria first? Then the tulips at the end of October?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 10:21PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Ideally bulbs should be planted when the ground has cooled off to 60F or about 15-16C and before it is frozen. That said, I always plant bulbs when they arrive from the suppliers - which is right now--- this weekend. :-) If I wait, I'll never fininsh planting them all. The weather in the Midwest is so changeable I cannot predict what it will be like next weekend. Therefore, I plant them when I have time and when it is not raining.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 10:50PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

I would imagine that the ground 8" down is easily the right temp and so I would go ahead and plant. The Frits. I already planted a few weeks ago. When they arrived in Aug. they had root nubs which means they were more than ready!! I bought some more standard Frit. imperialis (yellow and red) a couple weeks back at the local nursery...couldn't resist....they were as big as my fist and I've got a reasonable size hand....they already had roots emerging as well. Lucky you no deer :o) Dan

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 9:37AM
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BrandNewHouseWife(Z5 ON Canada)

Thank you all for your input! I will go out and start planting my Frits. The tulips will wait to next weekend. According to the weather forcast, the next four days is going to be warm as well.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 12:21PM
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I am in zone 6 like you and I started planting my tulips today. I have been planting iris and grape hyacinth for weeks. I think it is safe to go ahead and start planting now if you'd like.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 8:34PM
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BrandNewHouseWife(Z5 ON Canada)

All my Irises which planted in early September have leaves. What am I supposed to do? Cut it down for winter?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 10:26PM
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They're fine. My iris have leaves year round. They are usually smaller and less prolific this time of year, but it won't impair your spring blooms or anything. Iris is a very tough plant.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 7:23PM
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undercover_owl(8 Pac.NW)

How about zone 8? Can I plant tulip bulbs yet?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 1:24PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

It is best to plant bulbs when the ground cools to about 60 or so, but even if it has not in some areas, autumn is here and soon the colder weather will set in. The idea is to get the bulb in the ground and established before a winter freeze. You have plenty of time in most areas, but should get the ground ready now. If your bulbs are starting to sprout, they need to go in right away. Bulbs are living things even in dormancy; and must be cared for properly.

Never cut the foliage off. This is what feeds the bulb. Go ahead and plant, foliage and all, about 6 inches deep in mild weather areas; and even a bit deeper in very cold weather areas.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Sometimes gardeners confuse the growing habits of bulbed Irises and those that grow from rhizomes. Most of the dependable and familiar larger Iris grow from rhizomes (exposed on surface).

In contrast irises that grow from bulbs vary quite a bit from each other depending on the species, etc. Some will last only one year, some bloom every second year, some indestructable and bloom every year, etc. All you can really do is just plant them and leave them alone. If they put up greenery or not in the Fall often depends on the species or variety. If they don't flower next spring, be patient and they will probably flower the following year.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:13AM
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Is it too late to plant tulip bulbs now? Zone 6

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 10:48AM
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My garden is on the Azalia garden tour in Mid April. When should I plant my tulip bulbs? The bulbs have been in the refrigerator since October, which is what we do here in Zone 8 to prepare them for spring blooms. Thank you for your help! Sincerly Victoria

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 9:05PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I looked back over my records and to be in full bloom in the middle of April, after months in the refrigerator, not planted but just kept in the nursery bags, you would need to plant them NOW. This is in California where the weather in Feb. and March may be warmer than yours. Al

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:15AM
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