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Hard to grow bulbs in San Diego area?

Posted by jardinerowa 10 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 15:38


OK so I've been gardening in San Diego and loving the seemingly endless growing year but I'm new to bulbs in San Diego. I took advantage of growing some of the mediterranean climate bulbs like Watsonia, Amaryllis, and other bulbs like Anemones and Ranunculus.
I know the big issue here is chilling and that's why some bulbs don't do well here. I just bought some spring bulbs (dahlias, glads, and lilies.) and wonder if I need to treat these special. I remember reading somewhere about the Byzantine Gladiolus being the preferred for this climate but I'm not sure why the regular glads and dahlias don't work as well here, or do they? Thanks!


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RE: Hard to grow bulbs in San Diego area?

  • Posted by socalgal USDA z10 Sunset z24, (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 21:22

No special prep needed before planting glads or dahlias. Glads will come back each year. Some of my dahlias come back each year. Some daffodils like Ice Follies will come back but not all. I've had good luck with some species tulips, tulipa clusiana and saxatilis. Other bulbs that work for me are freesias, dutch iris, and babiana. I've had absolutely no luck with lilies - I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

RE: Hard to grow bulbs in San Diego area?


Thanks for the information, good to hear that most will come back. That is strange that the lilies have caused you problems. Were they asiatic or regular? I'll try them and we'll see. Lilies worked for me in the Pacific Northwest, of course San Diego is a different ball game. Thanks again!


RE: Hard to grow bulbs in San Diego area?

Lilium formosum might work for you. Needs light/dappled shade. Flowers in summer.

You could try the 'light shade' habitat for orientals, too. They seem to last longer if they just get morning sun and then light shade.

The regals and asiatics do better with more sun, though. And deep, cool, free-draining soil high in humus is often preferred.

RE: Hard to grow bulbs in San Diego area?

Thanks for the responses! If the dahlias work this year here in the San Diego area, then I'll be so happy because I loved them when I was in the Pacific Northwest.

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