Planting bulbs in Orange County, Ca?

BrianNovember 1, 2010

Today I just picked up about 200 bulbs that include daffodils, muscari, tulips, hyacinths, and allium. I put the daffodils in my garage refridgerator and know that I'm suppose to do this with that tulips, but for how many weeks again? is it 6,9, or 12 weeks? I know people on here said that they don't refridgerate their daffodils, but is it ok for me to do this? Then with the rest of the bulbs like the muscari and the allium (my first time working with these), do I need to refriderate these bulbs as well and for how long? I believe last year I put in the hyacinths in the refriderator as well. Thanks for your help in advance!

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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I've heard various lengths of time for chilling, 6-12 weeks. I aim for 8-10 weeks and plant in late December.

I chill tulips, hyacinth and muscari. I don't chill daffodils, but choose those that can handle the Southern California climate. I think it's ok to chill others. Can't help on Allium, don't like it.

I also forbid my husband to put apples and bananas in the fridge during bulb chilling season ( they can emit ethylene which could keep the bulbs from flowering).
Ruth

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 7:49PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Chilling is only a must for tulips in your climate, and six weeks is the very minimum. I have mine in the refrigerator since September first and intend planting the first part of December. For you, I would wait until after Christmas to plant. Al

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 8:17AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I know people on here said that they don't refridgerate their daffodils, but is it ok for me to do this?
Yes, in fact most cultivars will not bloom in your zone without appropriate chilling.

In checking the zones on several varieties, it seems 'most' are for zones up to zone 8. If they are mixed daffs, and unknown cultivars, I'd suggest you chill them for sure.

As a test, you 'could' chill some and plant some without chilling, to see what the results are for planting daffs in the future.

Here is a link that might be useful: Check the zone on Brent and Becky's daffs

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Brian

Thanks for all the help!

Anyone know if I should chill the allium and for how long?

Also I noticed the muscari is already starting to get some green stems poking out on the top of the bulb, do these need to be planted now even though they weren't chilled yet or is it ok to put them in the refrigerator? It's propbably only a hand full that I see with stems.

One more thing, I was just in the garden now digging around and I came across my old hyacinth bulbs that I planted last january. They too seem to be getting green sprouts on the tip of the bulbs. Is it ok still to put them in the refrigerator or do you think they will bloom again without any real chill?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 8:21PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Also I noticed the muscari is already starting to get some green stems poking out on the top of the bulb, do these need to be planted now even though they weren't chilled yet or is it ok to put them in the refrigerator?
In checking the zone on numerous muscari at Brent and Becky's I see they are for zones up to 9, so would not require chilling. I think it would be fine to either plant now, or to wait and plant a bit later. btw...the foliage of muscari will often emerge in the fall, (which is fine) though they won't bloom until spring time.

One more thing, I was just in the garden now digging around and I came across my old hyacinth bulbs that I planted last january. They too seem to be getting green sprouts on the tip of the bulbs.
I think it would do them more harm than good to dig them out now as they have broken dormancy and probably started to root in for the growing season. I'd leave them, but chances are they will not bloom well, but then many Hyacinths don't bloom well (big robust blooms) after their initial bloom. I'd suggest digging them next spring about 6 weeks after their normal bloom time and storing them until chill and replanting next fall.

Here is more about hyacinths their second season and later...Hyacinths and their flowerings

Sue

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 7:38AM
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Brian

Thanks Sue, I will go ahead and plant muscari a little later than and will just keep my hyacinths in the ground anyways since they have rooted already.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 4:04PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Which Allium did you buy?

And which Muscari?

Personally I wouldn't chill Muscari. They will start sprouting in the middle of a drought - late summer. They do well in shingle and other less than best soils because then the leaves don't flourish at the expense of flowering.

One thing that's important for bulb activity is the type of soil you have. Some of the clays act like insulators against excessive heat. Some of the silty/sandy ones can encourage bulbs to create lots of offsets instead of big bulbs for flower production. Plant deeper in sandy soils and not so deep in clay.

BTW - in your area, depending on when you get your rainy season - have a serious look at the South African spring bulb range. Not as 'traditional' as the tulip/daff range, but you will get some very attractive displays with bulbs such as Freesia, Sparaxis, Tritonia, Ixia, and the species Gladiolus.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Brian

Thanks for all the info vetivert8.

For my allium, I have the gladiator variety and the armeniacum variety for the muscari.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 4:32PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Gladiator would probably require chilling in your zone as its only recommended up to zone 7.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 6:57PM
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Brian

How long do you think I have to chill the allium, as long as my tulips?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 9:41AM
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