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too late to plant bulbs?

Posted by djdvda NYC (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 6, 11 at 23:50

I have a number of bulbs that I purchased earlier in the season- lilies, hollyhocks, irises, and crocusmias.

Is it too late to plant them in the NYC area?

Is it best for me to wait until Spring at this point?

Thanks in advance for the help.


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RE: too late to plant bulbs?

If you can pot them up it will stop them drying out and perhaps becoming unviable.

Lilies are 'always' best into the ground as quickly as possible - even if you have to pot them on in spring. Make sure your pots have generous drain holes. If there's only one - it needs to be at least as fat as your thumb - and put the pot on pot-feet. Put them in a cool but non-freeze place. They'll probably survive a solid freeze for a night but I wouldn't count on survival over a sustained freeze. (Hopefully someone who is used to tougher winters than mine will say...)

Iris - reticulata? Juno? Plant now - in pots - free-draining mix. Some might rot out but the others should come through.

Crocosmia is usually dormant over winter - all tatty brown leaves. Plant up later in winter (mid January?) in a rich and free-draining soil so they can be away in spring.

Personally I wouldn't leave them in a pot to come to flowering. Not even a deep one, as they haven't done well for me in pots. Put them out into the garden proper as soon as is wise in spring.

However, despite the Do Not Disturb recommendation, you might have to lift them annually to have them survive, unless you have a good micro-climate in your garden, maybe at the foot of a south-facing wall, that also has a well-drained soil. Zone 7 is supposed to be the bottom of the range for them.

Alcea? Hollyhock? If your ground is still open and warm, and you've added the compost earlier, you could plant out. Trouble is, there's not much time left for the transplant to establish roots before it has to close down for the winter. Perhaps another one/s for pot/s and a low frost to no-frost place inside until spring comes.


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