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Zone 9/10 bulbs

Posted by fishymamas z9, So. CA (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 20, 07 at 22:28

I'd like some suggestions on bulbs, off-beat suggestions welcome, that can grow in zone 9/10.

Bulbs that will live for me now:
Glads (I have to divide out these, they're prolific)
Callas (seriously I've divided this thing every year for the last 3)
Freesia (less come back each year, I had 3 years of blooms)

Bulbs that did not return:

I'm willing to plant in pots, empty pots, and chill bulbs to make a "mock" winter, but I'd also like some regrowers in the ground for spring color.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Zone 9/10 bulbs

The attached article should be of help :-) One of the most dramatic bulb displays I've ever seen are the vast springtime fields of ranunculus growing in Carlsbad, just outside of San Diego. Although bulbous iris may not perform wonderfully for you, rhizomatous (bearded) iris are great performers nearly anywhere in California as are a number of fleshy root species iris (Siberians, Japanese, etc.) - a few are even native to coastal California.

A Google search under "bulbs, hot climates" should turn up a lot of other possibilities.

Here is a link that might be useful: bulb choices for Southern California

RE: Zone 9/10 bulbs

Have a look at the South African bulbs for possibles.

One thing you do need to probably match are the wet/dry seasons preferred by each species with what you have locally.

If you have summer dry-winter wet then it's a struggle to please plants that are hoping for a few summer deluges to make it into flower. Conversely.

If your frosts are mild to non-existent think about some of the Lachenalias, Ornithoglum, Ixias, some of the hard climate Fritillaria, species tulips, your own Mariposa lilies, and the Muscari which do better in conditions which reduce the rampant growth of leaves and let the flowers be better seen. There are several which are not 'common'. Note - some species choose to rest up for a year or so, leading you to think you've lost them. Then they're back.

For the Freesias - they do need winter rain to make growth. If you're enduring dry over that time then you'll get less than best.
Are Crinums an option at all? Or is the climate too tough?

Please note - when suited some of these bulbs can show their delight prolifically...

RE: Zone 9/10 bulbs

  • Posted by socal23 USDA10/Sunset23 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 22, 07 at 3:02


The following genera would be well worth looking into with one caveat: these are winter-growing, summer-dormant and some may rot if they get too much summer moisture in the low desert (some are more tolerant than others).

Amaryllis belladonna
Nerine (some are winter dormant or evergreen as well)
Chasmanthe (downright weedy here near the coast) moisture tolerant
Leucojum aestevum will need summer shade and water in your area.
Narcissus (divisions 3, 7, 8, 10 are the best for warm climates I believe) all will tolerate summer water and some require it.
Homeria/Moraea (last I knew the two genera were merged but may still be treated independently by suppliers).

I'll let you know if I think of any more.


RE: Zone 9/10 bulbs

Zephyranthes are native to Mexico, so I would think they would do well for you. I love them!

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