6 Bulbs to Plant Without Delay

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Bulb display at Amsterdam’s floating flower market.

Fall bulbs arrive massively in garden centers around the second week of September and the displays remain standing until the end of November.

Normally there is no particular rush to plant the bulbs sold there: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, etc. They can be planted at any time until about 2 weeks before the ground freezes definitively for the winter, but…

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You have to plant winter aconites (Eranthis spp.) soon after they arrive in stores.

That’s not true of all bulbs. Some react badly to being displayed in boxes or bags for weeks and quickly dry out, losing their capacity to sprout. You have to plant them pretty soon after they arrive in the store. This group includes anemones (Anemone blanda, A. nemorosa, etc.), winter aconites (Eranthis), foxtail lilies (Eremurus) and fawn lilies (Erythronium).

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Colchicums are among the bulbs you have to plant early… otherwise these autumn-flowering bulbs will begin to bloom right on the shelf!

Other bulbs are fall-flowering. Yes, they start to bloom only a few weeks or even just a few days after they make it to the store. Obviously, it’s vital to plant them quickly before they bloom. This is the case of colchicums (Colchicum) and autumn crocus (Crocus).

Ideally you should these bulbs very soon after their arrival in the store, certainly before the end of September.

Here is the list again:

  • Anemone (Anemone);
  • Winter aconite (Eranthis);
  • Foxtail lily (Eremurus);
  • Fawn lily (Erythronium);
  • Colchichum or meadow saffron (Colchicum);
  • Autumn crocus (Crocus)20160910a
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