I am wondering if anyone out there could tell me if it is too late to
plant bulbs now.
I have many Iris and dafodils and tulip bulbs that were purchased in
They have been stored in a cool dak place since.
Any advice regarding the use of these would be greatly appreciated.
We moved house last march and in April/ May time I planted what I
thought were ( I forget the name but something like "Chimcherees"). They
were, in fact, daffodils. And they did come up and flowered, in about
August. They formed a bit of a talking point!
Whether it is "too late to plant" is probably less important than "is there
going to be a better time to plant?". Face it, the bulbs aren't getting any
younger and it is unlikely that any time in the future will be a better
time than right now to get them into the ground. If you plant them and they
don't perform well, at least they will be performing far better than they
will in the "cool da[r]k place". If you wait until the traditional Autumn
planting season you can be sure that the situation won't improve any.
My idiot daffodils are breaking ground now along with a hyacinth or two and
a sprinkling of crocuses. I'm sure that, given our sporadic weather, that
they will all have their tender little tips frozen solid before long. That
is a perfect reason for planting bulbs by the hundreds wherever you can get
away with it -- some always survive. With luck the 150 English bluebells I
planted last year will make an appearance this Spring and reward me for my
hard labor. Those bulbs are hard to come by over here but I keep thinking
back to the splendor of the meadows and woods full of them that I saw while
walking across Cumbria and Northumberland so I keep planting them hoping to
finally find a site which they can tolerate.
Ok, so the longer you keep bulbs, the less likely they are to perform.
So plant now rather than later is the idea.
The best way to deal with bulbs will be plant them in Autum when you are
supposed to then!!!!
I have a few hundred bulbs that I will plant tomorrow!!
Thanks for the advise......
Hi GrowGuru, Well, yes we are hesitating !! I would imagine, like me,
most of the growers of 'tropical' plants are at a loss as to what to
suggest people like yourselves grow ?? For years, we kept pushing the
boundaries and to be honest, we got away with it, we were getting mild
winters with sometimes here in Cornwall hardly a frost at all !! How
things have changed, given these last three winters !! After the first
bad winter, we all said, 'well,its a fluke, a mere blip and next year
everything will be back to its mild normal self ' so everyone replanted
and then bang ! another, even colder winter, back to square one ! Last
year, a few dedicated gardeners replanted but, I fear this winter will
have knocked even thier confidence !! Down here, this last winter has
killed even things that survived the previous two, Ive lost Agaves,
Aloes and Ceanothus that have previously survived !!
Now to your question, All I can do is to tell you what customers of
mine (who have for years taken back plants to London) have found do
Most grasses are ok but avoid Pennisetum, Yuccas are fine,
Chamaerops humilis and Trachycarpus fortunei are the best palms.
Cordyline australis should be ok (plain green the hardiest, avoid
variegated) Furcraea and Beschorneria might be ok. Most Phormiums are
fine, as are Kniphofia, Bamboo,
Fascicularia bicolor, Olives are ok
Now we come to the plants that we used to say were ok but now I
feel might have to be pot grown, placed outside for summer and then
given protection in winter, if these cold spells are to be the norm !!
Agaves, Cordyline Australis (coloured varieties) Bananas (the best in my
opinion, is Musa lasiocarpa) Hedychium, Canna, Agapathus, Coprosma,
Puya, Sedum, Aeonium, Abutilon, Restio, Acacia, etc etc the list is
Alot will depend on the nature of your site, its size and what you
yourself like ?? I would suggest you visit a few gardens locally and see
for yourself what has survived?? Another good contact would be 'The Palm
Centre' Ham Nursey, Richmond.
As a general rule, if I was to give you the single most important
thing that will help you the most, especially with some of what must now
be classed as 'borderline' hardy, it is DRAINAGE !! Dig in lots of grit
and if possible mound the soil up, undulate it, use rocks and pebbles to
cover it and this will help enormously.
Sorry to be a bit vague, but given these recent winters, im not feeling
my normal enthusiastic self about 'exotics', if I'm struggling here
right next to the sea in Cornwall, I wish you the best of luck !!
Hope some of this helps, Lannerman
Thank-you very much.....
This has certainly helped.
I am not far from Richmond so will go down there.....
I think I will also try a few of the more weak varieties you mentioned
in pots, so I can bring them in during the colder months.
I know how weather has been the last few winters and believe it may be
signs of things to come, rather than a funny five minutes!
Thanks again for your help.
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