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Bulb Season in Warm Climates

NarcissusBlosom It is bulb season around here! Time to plant our spring-flowering bulbs. For gardeners in Southern California (and other warm winter areas), it also means making room in your refrigerator for chilling bulbs.

We can’t just plop a tulip, crocus or hyacinth in the ground and wait for spring. We have to chill it for weeks before planting to fake it out and make it think it has had a nice dose of winter. We play a little Christmas music outside the refrigerator and yell, “Ho, Ho, Ho” every once in a while. It works every time.

This year, I am chilling out some tulips. I usually don’t bother with tulips because they don’t naturalize here and spending the money only to toss them into the compost heap at the end of blooming seems like such a waste. But I found a few inexpensive bags of tulips at the garden center and I am going to do up some pots for the front porch.

While researching for a newspaper article I was writing on bulbs, I came across two great bulb sites for warm season gardeners like us.

The first is called Southern Bulbs. They specialize in bulbs for warm climate areas. Their bulbs do not need chilling and many will either naturalize or give a few seasons of blooms. That makes your investment a bit more worthwhile, doesn’t it?

The other site is called Easy To Grow Bulbs. It has a zone chart that is very helpful. You type in your zip code to find your zone. Then you look on the chart to see which bulbs do best in your area. They have several “warm climate” and “southern” bulbs that can handle the warm winters here.

If you are just interested in bulbs – any bulbs, you should also check out:

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
Old House Garden Heirloom Bulbs
Van Bougondien Bulbs

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.