Tulips/Hyacinths sprouting before in ground? Please help!

vegas31November 18, 2011

Hi --

Was planning on planting some tulip/hyacinth bulbs this weekend, but just wanted to check on something first; these have been stored in the basement for a few weeks, and when I checked on them yesterday, some of the hyacinth bulbs have a green shoot coming out of the top, and some of the tulips have a pale shoot coming up -- my questions would be:

- have I waited too long? can they be planted??

- maybe they got too warm in the basement?

Any help would be greatly appreciated....thanks!

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

It will help to know specifically where you live. Here in my Deep South Zone 7 I must chill my tulips for 8 to 10 weeks before planting. They need this process if they are to bloom. The sprouts are not great, but in the end, they won't hurt anything. Go on and plant the hyacinths in the ground as soon as you can. (I always count out the 8 to 10 weeks on my calendar from the day I put the tulips into the fridge. That way I don't forget when to plant them.)
Keep the tulip bulbs away from fruit. The ethylene gas the fruits emit will kill the tulip bloooms.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:04AM
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Am in baltimore/zone 7....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 4:54PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I would advise you to prechill the tulips, unless someone from your are comes on here and says otherwise. It certainly will not hurt them....

You will have to watch sharp for a day to plant them in January. Or if worse came to worst you could plant them in pots then.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Grape hyacinths normally begin growing in fall; if that's what you have, they are trying to put out their fall flush of leaves.

Regular hyacinths, along with some other bulbs, normally begin growing underground shoots in fall that gradually work their way towards the surface. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 4:15AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

donnabaskets - I'm fascinated by the pre-chilling thing. It's something I never heard of until I started frequenting Garden Web. It's not mentioned at all in UK gardening circles unless you are talking about forcing bulbs for indoors. If you are in z7 and I'm in z8-9 (although the US zones don't really work over here) why doesn't anyone in the UK need to pre-chill? I've tried to check the actual figures for how long and how cold tulips need and I can't find anything. Can you help?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 3:43PM
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