Tulips and Hycinaths

ezzirah011(7a)September 28, 2013

Do you chill Tulips and Hyacinths here in Oklahoma? I had someone tell me to just put them in the ground...but everything I read says to chill....


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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Hi Ezzirah,

I've always pre-chilled them before planting because we never know if we're going to have an average winter, an extra-warm winter or an extra-cold winter. I am far enough south that if we have an average or extra-warm winter, then I think the bulbs wouldn't get enough cold weather in the ground if not pre-chilled before planting. In an extra-cold winter, they'd likely get cold enough in the ground without pre-chilling.

You're further north than I am, so maybe the pre-chilling isn't necessary there, but it still makes sense to do it if you can because the pre-chilling ensures the bulbs get the chilling they need. Think of the pre-chilling as insurance that insures they'll bloom.

Having said that, some (though certainly not all) of the Dutch hyacinths and tulips that I planted around 2001 did survive and rebloom for 8 or 10 years and I wasn't digging them up and overwintering them in the refrigerator either, so clearly they were getting enough cold weather in winter. However, every year there's fewer and fewer of them, though I blame that more on the recurring droughts than anything else.

If you don't chill, you may or may not get good blooms in the late winter or spring.

Some nurseries at which I shop in the D-FW metro area now offer pre-chilled bulbs, too, so you might find someone up there in central Ok with pre-chilled bulbs.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 4:57PM
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I'm over here in Adair Co where the winters--and summers--stay cooler than where Dawn lives. I never chill bulbs and have both tulips and hyacinths in the ground for 20 years. (Most varieties of tulips don't last that long though.) Here it is the gophers and voles, and one large dog digging to stay cool, that do the most damage to my bulbs

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:31PM
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So, how does that work? I'm seeing the bulbs in the stores now. Do I buy them & chill in the fridge till...? I normally plant mine in late November, early December but have never had any come back. I just figured we had to treat them like annuals here.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Bumping this up.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:13AM
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I googled and found the link below right here from gardenweb! :)

I knew, I pre chilled, but honestly don't remember how long.


Here is a link that might be useful: chill bulbs

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:42AM
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