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Anyone has success with bulbs? How do you do it?

Posted by butacska Las Vegas, NV (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 15, 06 at 23:02

Ok, so I just started thinking about having a flower bed with bulbs. As the planting time is october/november I still have plenty of time to figure out how exactly it needs to be done. Unfortunately I can not find anything useful and special for our area. :(
I have tons of questions, please help me if you can!
1. First of all is it a realy difficult to grow bulbs in Las Vegas?
2. Is the winter cold enough or they need to be chilled in the fridge?
3. Best timing for planting/chilling?
4. What kind of plants are OK in here? I am thinking about Crocus, Dwarf Daffodil, Early snow glories, Rudy tritelia, spring starflowers, Iris, Early snowdrops... would love to have tulips and lilies, but I think they are even more difficult to grow...:(
5. How abot watering? Drip system for winter and summer both or is it no good for them? How much water?
6. I am thinking about making a planter in the ground, remove the "clay" and replace it with potting soil about 12-18" deep. Good idea or not?
7. How about container? Is it easier? Same procedure as in ground or any diferences?
8. After blooming (hopefuly) what do i need to do not to kill them? let the foliage "die" and leave in ground/container for the hot summer and stop watering or i need to remove them and store? (actually I have no idea where to store them, because the temerature in the garage is ... sometimes higher then outside, and I think even the house isn't cool enough to store them (usually 80 F).
So please anyone who knows about this help!
Thanks in advanced.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone has success with bulbs? How do you do it?

  • Posted by beca 8b-NV (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 17, 06 at 12:56

Hey Maria-

Try the Gardens at the Springs Preserve at 702-822-8325 or reading the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursdays. Linn Mills writes a gardening column in the Living section that is great!!! Also he wrote a book about NEVADA gardening-NEVADA Gardening Guide by Linn Mills & Dick Post. This book has information on every kind of plant you can use. Includes lots of information on bulbs too.
I am over in Pahrump and planted bulbs in several containers last year and had no problems. Besides my 3 raised beds I have a few plants in the ground...which the holes were dug and totally replaced with catus rock soil (as the ground out here is horrible) but mainly use containers. Do not use terracotta containers unless they are glazed. The sun will dry them out very fast. I have several roses growing...other plants that do well. I also have a drip system in place. We change the watering times for the seasons. Hope this helps you some. Good Luck!!


RE: Anyone has success with bulbs? How do you do it?

Hello Maria,

I am a Maria living in Las Vegas too. I have successfully grown daffodils, paper whites, fresias, tulips, iris and ranaculas here. Of these I think the easiest are daffodils and they don't need to be dug up unless you want to divide them after a couple of years but you do need to let there foilage die down so they can have that energy for next year. I had tulips that did well at our previous house here but I have had less luck in our present location. I think it is because before I had they by a lawn and here we have no lawn and it is tougher. I won't try those again here but the paper whites I just threw in as an afterthought come up and bloom every winter and smell great! Also iris are pretty bulletproof here and I do grow everything off a drip line. If I can figure out how to post pics I've got some of mine.

Happy Gardening, the other Maria

RE: Anyone has success with bulbs? How do you do it?

Thanks for the replies Beca and Maria :)
As the time goes by I am thinking about 2 ways to plant them. I am going to plant some in containers and I am planing a rock garden too. I have not bought the containers yet, still don't know if i should use the "paper" containers or wood ones. I already have the bulbs in the fridge, I think I gonna plant them around november, as i don't have too many space to store them in dark after planting. I need to put them outside right away. I bought fretilizer as well, I just don't know if it is necessary to prepare the soil 2 weeks before planting (mixing soil with fertilizer) or is it good to do them at the same time. I am going to put as many bulbs into a container as I can without the bulbs touching each other or the edge of the container. We'll see :)
The rock garden is going to be a rock garden, I would like to plant real rock garden plants there, and have some space where I can put bulbs. I need to do the irrigation for it, I think that is going to be the most dificult part. I still need to figure out what kind of soil should I buy for the containers and for the rock garden. So that is my idea right now. Thanks for the replies again!

RE: Anyone has success with bulbs? How do you do it?

Las Vegas is *different* If you want a "traditional" bulb display, you want pre-cooled bulbs. Brent and Becky's Bulbs ( has a fairly large selection if you don't want to fill your fridge.

There are some tulips and daffodils (species/wild types) that you can plant and forget in your area--they don't need pre-cooling. However, I'd look farther afield for many of your bulb picks. Look for varieties native to South Africa and South America. You have so many really great things to choose from. You will have to water nearly anything you select, because there are very few places on this planet drier than Nevada (and you are in the WET part of Nevada).

For traditional bulbs that require pre-cooling, I'd probably stick to containers you could pop in and out of strategic spots in your garden, replacing them with annuals or other features as the seasons change. Even though my area is much colder, I still use a LOT of containers, and have three sets--one for early spring, one for midsummer, and one for fall/winter.


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