Flower Bulb FAQs

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT THE BULB SHOP

Are you paying attention? This is IMPORTANT. Please place orders from BULB SHOP separately from any and all other Restoration Rose products. Essentially bulbs are a separate shop for us. Any orders combining bulbs and other Restoration Rose products will have to be cancelled and we don’t want to do that to you.

WE EXPECT ALL FLOWER BULB ORDERS WILL SHIP IN OCTOBER OR AS SOON AS THEY ARE RECEIVED FROM HOLLAND. POSSIBLE SHIPPING DELAYS MAY OCCUR. YOUR BULBS SHOULD ARRIVE IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR STARTING AND CHILLING. 

We will gladly chill your bulbs for an additional charge of $5.00 per type of bulb (tulip, hyacinth, daffodil etc) as some varieties will need less chill and ship before others. 

BULB ORDER OF BLOOM  (Also see Chill Chart below)

South American Amaryllis and Paperwhites do not require chill and will bloom within 4-6 weeks of starting from dormant bulbs. Dutch Amaryllis do not require chill but take 6-12 weeks to get started from dormant bulbs. Crocus and Reticulated iris will bloom in January for most folks, depending upon when chill begins. The earliest Daffodils are followed by Muscari, Hyacinth, later blooming Daffodils and Tulips. On each bulb variety page you will find its class and you may refer to the information below to chill length/bloom time. Blooms will usually arrive 2-4 weeks after chilling period when pots have been exposed to sun.

CHILL CHART—BELOW 45 DEGREES you may chill for longer but do not chill for less. 

  • Crocus (Spring-blooming Crocus), 8-10 weeks

  • Galanthus (Snowdrops), 10-12 weeks

  • Hyacinthus (Hyacinth), 12-14 weeks

  • Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata and other spring-blooming bulbous species), 10-12 weeks

  • Leucojum (Summer Snowflake), 8-10 weeks

  • Muscari (Grape Hyacinth, to keep the leaves shorter, store cool and dry for 6-8 weeks, then give 2 weeks of cool rooting time)

  • Trumpet Daffodils, 14-16 weeks

  • Large-Cupped Daffodils, 15-17 weeks

  • Small-Cupped Daffodils, 16-18 weeks

  • Double-Flowered Daffodils, 16-18 weeks

  • Split-Corona Daffodils, 14-16 weeks

  • Narcissus (Triandrus), 16-17 weeks

  • Narcissus (Cyclamineus), 14-15 weeks

  • Narcissus (Jonquilla), 15-16 weeks

  • Narcissus (Tazetta), 14-15 weeks

  • Narcissus (Miniature), 14-16 weeks

  • Tulipa (Tulip), 14-16 weeks

THE BASICS OF COAXING

Pot the bulbs in any well-draining potting mix, water them, and set them aside in a cool but not freezing dark spot for the required minimum time (see chart above), then bring them into warmth and light in the house. The bulbs think spring has arrived and quickly sprout and flower. It’s that easy — the bulbs do most of the work.

POTTING in soil:  To pot the bulbs, begin by placing potting mix in a large tub or bucket. Slowly add water and stir until the mix is moist but not soggy. Should feel a bit like moist sand, not soggy mud. If you squeeze a handful and water results it is too wet, add more dry mix. Add the moistened mix to your chosen container until the pot is about three-quarters full. Using craft sticks or whatever you would like, write the variety down and the day you charted chilling. You could also write the final chill date down as well. Place that in the pot. Set the bulbs root-side down on top of the mix. Despite common wisdom, the bulbs MAY touch each other. Pack them in. More bulbs more bloom. Then add more mix. Cover small bulbs completely with a ½” layer of mix; cover larger bulbs up to their necks, leaving the tips of the bulbs exposed. Water thoroughly after potting.To force cold-hardy bulbs into bloom, you must first encourage them to produce new roots by keeping them cool and moist for a period of time that varies by type of bulb (see Chill Chart above). The ideal rooting temperature also varies, but most bulbs flower best if stored at 40-45 degrees. The easiest way to chill bulbs is to put them outdoors, chill bulbs in a cold frame if you’re lucky enough to have one; a cold basement; or an unheated garage (provided the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing). If you choose to chill bulbs in the refrigerator, be certain there is no fresh fruit stored inside. Please note that moisture is as important as temperature in the successful chilling of bulbs. Check the pots every few weeks and water thoroughly ONLY when the surface is dry to the touch.

Toward the end of the recommended rooting time, begin checking the pots for signs that the bulbs have rooted. If you see fleshy white roots poking through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pots, the bulbs are usually ready to bloom. If you don’t see roots, give the bulbs more time in cold storage. Don’t judge readiness by the appearance of shoots from the tops of the bulbs; without roots, the bulbs won’t flower properly.

DRY CHILLING: You can also coax your bulbs by giving them the proper amount of chill time WITHOUT SOIL. This allows you to chill more bulbs in a much smaller space. This is how I chilled bulbs until I created a chiller room. 

Likely you will be chilling in a refrigerator or basement. Remember to defend against mice and other critters if they can get to the bulbs, they surely will. We dry chill our bulbs in paper bags with -- be sure to note bulb name etc on bag. We roll down the tops to eliminate air and snug the bulbs together. Do not chill in any type of plastic. This will cause the bulbs to rot. Bulbs need air while they are chilling. You could use a mesh shopping bag or similar for your bulbs. After the recommended chill time then pot up your bulbs as directed above and get them into the sun. If you are creating a mixed bulb garden you will need to chill ALL varieties for the same amount of time as the LONGEST variety so that they will all get proper bulb. (REFER TO CHILLING CHART)

COAXING INTO BLOOM:  When the bulbs have rooted, bring the pots out of cold storage and set them in a bright window in a cool room (one where the temperature stays below 65°F). Bright light will help keep the leaves and flower stems compact; in weak light, they tend to flop. You’re likely to find that the bulbs have produced white shoots during cold storage. Sunlight quickly turns them green. Keep a close eye on the moisture needs of the bulbs as they send up leaves and flower stems. Initially, the bulbs probably won’t need to be watered more frequently than once a week (if that much), but by the time they bloom, you may need to water them every day or two. Most bulbs will bloom 2-5 weeks after they come out of the cold. Once your bulbs have set buds you may move them to a cooler and more shady spot. Length of bloom varies with the type of bulb keeping them cool keeps them happier. Shifting the pots out of direct sunlight and moving them to a cool room at night helps prolong bloom.

LAYERING BULBS FOR MULTI VARIETY BULB GARDEN

www.gardenia.net is one of the most wonderful resources for gardeners. 

Their images of layered gardens were super helpful to me when I began. The link below has wonderful instructions and information for planting your own bulb garden. Truly, you are limited only by your imagination. 

https://www.gardenia.net/guide/lasagne-planting-method 

Here is a wonderful informative video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDpz-eMsj4

Claus Dalby, my horticultural crush, shows you how the pro's do it. This is inspirational/aspirational only. This is 20 years of experience. Don't compare yourself to him and feel lousy about it. This is meant to be fun, fun, fun. This man is the Michelangelo of bulbs.

A genius. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZGXh-5ICFs

For a four to eight week flowering extravaganza, choose blooms with consecutive flowering periods. IE: add bulbs from each category such as:

Crocus or Iris, Muscari, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Tulip for an entire season display. 

Or you can choose Crocus and Muscari in one pot, Hyacinth and Daffodils in another, etc.

They can be planted in practically the same spot because they will be planted in different layers of soil (thus the technique is known as the “lasagna method”)

Those that bloom last are planted at the deepest level and those that bloom first are planted closest to the surface. There will likely be overlapping growth and bloom times. 

This works for a garden bed just as well as a pot. Remember to plant your shorter bulbs closer to the rim (like the front of the garden bed) and the taller closer to the center (and back of the garden bed). Somehow Mother Nature has a way of making it beautiful regardless. 


When brought indoors it is sheer delight to have your own colorful, fragrant garden blooming in late January through February. 

 

Potting Mega Containers for Outdoors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9wi7HGmQp4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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