Plant Bulbs for Spring Flowers Now
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
One of my favorite flowers is the tulip but I have rarely had one grow well. Research shows that most parts of Texas don’t have the chilling requirements necessary to grow them. Bulbs that grow well are irises, day lilies, amaryllis, daffodils, rananculus, calla lilies and gladiola. Cannas are one of my favorites and actually grow from an eye root. They do well in the West Texas heat and range in size from 2’ to 6’ depending on which one you purchase. Be sure to read the package so that you get the height you need.
Since irises and cannas grow so well in our climate, gardeners are always digging them up to thin them out and are usually quite happy to share. Simply break apart the bulbs and plant according to directions below.
I made a recon run to one of the big box stores today to check on the availability of bulbs now. There were lots of daffodils available in a variety of colors, as well as crocus, leucojum, hyacinth, fritillaria, freesia, lilies in many colors (I purchased some that were so dark they are almost black), crocus and amaryllis. I also bought several packages of a “fragrant collection” which contains hyacinty pink surprise, hyacinth delft blue and muscari armeniacum.
Bulbs are planted in the fall, show themselves in the spring and decline in the heat of summer. You will need an area that is full sun and that have plenty of room to multiple for many years.
Loosen the soil to at least 6”. Add bulb fertilizer as recommended on the package to the bottom of the planting hole and cover with 2” of soil. Plant the bulb root side down with the pointed end up. Water well, then add an inch of mulch to conserve moisture.
Heads up for the vegetable gardeners: Also available were potatoes, onions and garlic. It is time to plant those as well.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.