Bulbs

Is it common for bulbs to grow but not flower the first year? I am not having a great success rate with the many bulbs I planted last fall. MJ
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On 3/20/2014 11:44 AM, mj wrote:

That depends on what plant is involved.
Some bulbs refuse to bloom for several years if their roots are disturbed at the wrong time. This includes species of Crinum, Amaryllis, and Sprekelia.
Other bulbs might take a year. Bearded iris often fails to bloom the first year after it is divided and replanted.
Still other bulbs do not care. They bloom the first spring no matter what. That includes most species of Narcissus (including daffodils), Hippeastrum, Crocus (actually a corm), and Freesia (another corm). Ranunculus (a tuber) generally blooms the first year unless the tuber was quite small; then it blooms every year after.
Then there are tulips. Where I live, tulips must be stored in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks before planting; otherwise they will not bloom. If they do bloom in the first spring, they will never bloom again; instead, they are treated as annuals, pulled up, and discarded. If they do not bloom in the first spring, they will never bloom at all. (This does not apply to lady tulips -- Tulipa clausiana -- which do not require winter chill.) A few other spring bulbs also require winter chill, at least a few inches of lingering snow but not deeply frozen soil. I do without such plants because I prefer living where snow is seen only on TV or in the movies.
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mj wrote:

no, first year is often the best, but the actual outcome varies based upon many other factors.
where did you get the bulbs?
when were they planted?
exactly how and where were they planted?
have they gotten much moisture or cold since they were planted?
usually i've found that most bulbs i get from decent suppliers do well and those picked up from big box stores and other budget suppliers are less reliable.
the most energy and formation of the flower for the next year is formed the previous year. bad storage conditions can trump any good start the bulb may have had at the growers.
songbird
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mj wrote:

I'll bet Critters are eating those flowers... other than dafs most bulb flowers become critter food... deer/rabbits will feast on bulb flowers.
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On Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:43:46 PM UTC-4, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Box store bulbs planted in November in the coldest year in recent North Car olina history. Animals are not a problem (in this case). I have never had t rouble with crocus and have had 2 bloom out of 60 bulbs. Daffodils are grow ing foliage but not a lot of blooms and they are really short. I have never had good luck with Tulips but I was really hoping this year. Thanks for al l the input. I am glad I got them all pretty cheep. Just a disappointing sp ring. MJ
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wrote:

It was a lot colder here in upstate NY, many mornings it was -20º and never went above zero all day... it's still in the 20s and the ground is frozen solid 3' deep. Every winter here is cold but my bulbs come up and flower beautifully... most are dafs, everything else is behind a fence, and even fenced from deer and rabbits the squirrels will dig some up, in these winters with everything under several feet of snow there's practically nothing critters won't eat.

Buy from a different source, often the cheap turns out expensive. Perhaps those bulbs were old and/or improperly stored. The bulbs you mention all should have flowered. I think you'd be much better off buying from one of the major on line bulb companys... this one is good: www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com
Proper planting is also important, I like to use a 2" bulb auger with a 1/2" drill motor, makes the job effortless and quick... a corded drill motor works much better than a cordless... I have several heavy duty 50' and 100' outdoor extention cords. Cordless drill motors don't have the oomph to handle a bulb auger, even with a freshly charged battery by the sixth hole it's straining. I abhor cordless tools and would no longer own any... were I a contractor, in the field I'd use a portable generator.
Try again.
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