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bulbs coming up too early!

Posted by jennahw 7 - Southern MD (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 28, 08 at 12:14

It IS December, but we've had a few days here lately that it's been above 60 degrees. Today my thermometer reads 76 degrees!! It's crazy. Usually it's in the 30s or low 40s this time of year.

So a few of my bulbs are starting to come up. Looks like it's some daffodils and hyacinths. (Note that I may be guilty of not planting them deep enough, but temps in the 60s-70s I suppose can't be ignored!) Is there anything I can do? Two weeks ago we had a cold snap and temps were in the single digits with wind chill - now I'm wearing short sleeves outside!

I tried to cover the little sprouts with some leaves. Should I mulch over them? I don't want them all to die out when (if?) it gets normal cold temps again. Especially since I planted a lot of bulbs in the fall - hyacinths, stardrift, alpine bells, crocus, tulips - all kinds of things I am looking forward too!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

Don't worry about your bulbs. It's not unusual for them to sprout now. Many of mine are already poking out of the ground. The only time I've had a problem was when some daffodils that bloom in February got buds early and we had single digit temperatures and the buds froze. I don't think you have anything to be concerned about.

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

So will they continue to bloom through the spring if they do get that far? I've now covered them over with some boughs from the xmas tree. Should I just uncover them and let them be?

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

The deer ate the daffodil foliage that started coming up last summer! First time I've had to spray the DAFF foliage to keep the buggers away.

Noticed Hyacinth foliage poking up last weekend.

It was 70 here yesterday...freezing again a couple nights from now. Crazy weather is messin with our plants.

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

Your bulbs will likely bloom right on schedule, give or take a little. It's not impossible for them to be damaged by this weather, but it would be extremely unusual. Daffodils, in particular, are very tough. In my opinion, you should uncover them and leave them alone.

The fact is, there are very very many kinds of narcissus, and they bloom at different times. In my garden, they come up in pretty close to the order in which they bloom. So, my early ones are about six inches high, but my late ones have not all emerged yet. Last year, I had some type of narcissus blooming continually from the first week of February until almost May.

I have two kinds of paperwhites blooming right now: Grand Soleil D'Or and Grand Primo (both are only hardy to zone 8).These paperwhites are new this year and I am so excited at how much they are going to extend the season.

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

Thanks everyone. I'll uncover them then, and can def deal with a few sad looking leaves if that's all that will happen. And after enjoying a couple nice warm days, now I really can't wait till it IS time for them to bloom and me to start planting!

Incidentally, I found a few other threads covering this topic while thumbing through (they didn't show up with whatever search terms I tried to use). I have them bookmarked on my home computer, so I'll try and post them all here if I remember, so they're all on one spot. Thanks again for calming my fears :)

RE: bulbs coming up too early!

The way the temps have fluctuated up and down since a very cold November and then holiday prep I haven't gotten mulch on beds with bulbs yet after rearranging beds they were in. Once it freezes this week they're getting covered with pine needle mulch so they stay colder than if exposed to more temp fluctuations.

I'll gradually move back mulch over bulbs in very early spring giving bulbs room to grow up and away. I've got seeds of Larkspur planted around them with half small water bottle over them (top open) so they don't wash away this winter. Figured it was worth a try.

I think the Hyacinth bulbs were heaved up a bit as they weren't mulched during very cold spell and they're peeking up after being planted 5-6" deep in little raised corner bed. Nothing like the smell of Hyacinths to make me feel good in early spring.

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