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when to start summer bulbs indoors?

Posted by jason0360 5A Ottawa (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 23, 05 at 6:45

last year was the first year I grew several types of summer blooming bulbs in containers on the patio. They have been happily sitting in the basement over the winter. Anyone out there in Ottawa or similar zone advise how early I should bring them upstairs and start them growing inside to have some growth to put out in the spring?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: when to start summer bulbs indoors?

jason0360, please list out what bulbs you have as this will assist others with the starting dates. Some should be started earlier than others. Terry

RE: when to start summer bulbs indoors?

I am interested in the same thing. I'd like to do this with the following bulbs that I have
1. double Freesias
2. Rannuculus
3. Mexican Shellflower

RE: when to start summer bulbs indoors?

My list of bulbs to start up include: hymenocallis, pineapple lily, colocasia esculenta, gloriosa lily, acidanthera and agapanthus. I would like them to have a really good start because our growing season is so short. Can someone give me some guidance please?

RE: when to start summer bulbs indoors?

I don't know if this helps, but I have been over-wintering some bulbs and tubers in my basement for several years now: oxalis, dahlias, tube roses, tropical amaryllis, begonias,tall cannas, and crinum. I used to dig the bulbs/tubers and store, but found it tiresome and I lost some, so for the last four or five years, I grow them in pots and bring the pots in (except for cannas which I just store in a paper bag). I find the best time to bring up the others is about 4 weeks before your frost-free date. I place them in front of a large south-facing window. Before that, the sun in Ontario is not strong enough to give you good growth. I tried it with my dahlias and they grew, gave me blooms before my frost-free date, but the plants were a bit leggy and the blooms were not as vigorous as in other years. I know it is very hard to be patient enough to wait, especially at this time of the year when it seems 'warm' to us. Hope this helps.
P.S. I am in Zone 4, Ontario and my frost-free date is mid-May.

RE: when to start summer bulbs indoors?

Debbie, I've only tried the pineapple lily and colocasia from your list. These I start around mid April(or a little sooner if I get too impatient) in margarine containers with good potting soil. I don't plant them very deep and usually have just the top of the bulb exposed. Keep them moist, but not soggy, and put them in a south window until they can go outside.


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