Bulbs and Other Special Plant Groups
We have a wonderful selection of bulbs and other special plants that take certain care and attention. Read on for instructions on caring for your special plants.
- Bulbs in the nursery are found in orange pots only.
- Most bulbs should not be divided or planted out until dormant. Keep them in their pots until all foliage has completely died back.
- Water sparingly, once a week is generally sufficient. Stop watering when they start blooming or the leaves are starting to die back.
- Sift/dig up/separate bulbs when completely dormant. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place and replant before rains start, around September or October. (You can also leave them in a pot to grow for another year.)
- Very small bulbs can be replanted in the same pot to let grow up for another year. Top with a pinch of bulb fertilizer.
- Exceptions: Toxicoscordion and Chlorogalum have more robust root systems and can be carefully divided any time.
- Plant bulbs at a depth of about twice their height.
- All our bulbs are Summer dormant and should not receive any Summer water.
- Bulbs planted in the ground do not need supplemental water unless there is severe drought. They never need any additional fertilizer.
- Calochortus sp. are especially susceptible to rot.
- Bulbs may need protection from gophers (underground wire cages), mice, squirrels, other rodents and some birds (above ground cages), snails and slugs (copper strips, oyster shells, Sluggo™ type bait)
- Toxicoscordion bulbs are toxic to most critters, but snails and slugs love the foliage.
- Bulbs require good drainage – amend soil (perlite, expanded shale, etc), plant on a slope or raised bed/mound
- For easier protection from pests, good drainage, and water control it may be best to grow bulbs in containers. Containers should be at least 10-12″ deep. Commercial potting mix (not soil) works well as a growing medium, preferably without added fertilizer (which has too much nitrogen). A small amount of bulb fertilizer (a generous pinch, ~ 1 tsp per gal) should be added once a year to each pot.
- Our homemade bulb mix: 2 parts perlite, 2 parts vermiculite, 1 part peat (cocoa peat or coir is OK), 1 part horticultural sand. Add a generous pinch (~1 tsp) of bulb fertilizer per 1 gal pot.