Hardy Bulbs: No Mystery to their Survival During Drought
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., September 10, 2012 – It's no secret that most of the United States is parched. From the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest and parts of the South, fields are arid and creeks are dry. And according to the forecast from the U.S. Drought Monitor, fall isn't looking much better.
It makes a gardener wonder about planting flower bulbs. Wouldn't it seem the safe thing to do is hold back on daffodils, iris and tulips until wetter weather prevails? Surprise! With flower bulbs the fall drought doesn't matter.
As a rule, spring-flowering bulbs are "hardy." Technically speaking, this means they can survive the cold winter months after being planted in the fall. They actually require a period of cold to activate the biochemical process needed for flowering. But hardy is also a proper moniker because of their ability to withstand the fall season without water.
"Spring-flowering bulbs fall under the 'one and done' mantra, meaning they need to be watered at the time of planting, and then they are done until spring," says Amy Dube, flower bulb expert for educational campaign Dig.Drop.Done.
"Plant your bulbs this fall, and then give them a good dose of water, enough to reach the base of the bulbs," says Dube. "This initiates root growth. After that, let Mother Nature take her course."
Unlike fall annuals such as mums and pansies, flower bulbs don't need constant attention. They are dormant through the fall. And with the regular winter and early spring precipitation, they'll grow just fine.
So don't put off fall flower bulb planting for fear of the weather. You'll be sorely disappointed come springtime.
Dig.Drop.Done™ is a three-year, North American educational campaign to introduce flowering bulbs to a new generation of potential gardeners and demystify the bulb-growing process. Through a website, digital and print advertising, social media and public relations, the campaign will show women just how simple, beautiful and rewarding flowering bulbs can be. For more information, visit www.DigDropDone.com.
Mary Leigh Howell