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Bluebell bulbs, can I plant them now?

Evening all,

First time on here, not a fully fledged gardener, but just wanted some advice. I have purchased 15 packs of bluebell bulbs, 'Hyacinthoides non-scripta'. They were £1 each down from £7.99! I've done all the bulb planting already and I know early autumn is the best. However, what with the abnormally mild weather, could I still plant them now? It says from August onwards. I know they probably won't flower for a few years, but the kids at the school would like to tomorrow. 

I also have loads of other bulbs, dog tooth violet, tulips, fritillaries, daffodils etc, all of which the students didn't get around to planting last year. Could they always be planted now? All the packaged say from August onwards. I know there are better months to do so, but would it affect them? If best not to, will they keep till spring? Or even next autumn?

Many thanks all
Best
James 
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Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,473
    Plant every thing you have as soon as possible. They will just dry up and wither the longer you leave them.  They will not keep to plant in Spring or later on in the year.  If the ground is solid, get them in pots and then stand them up by a wall.
  • Plant every thing you have as soon as possible. They will just dry up and wither the longer you leave them.  They will not keep to plant in Spring or later on in the year.  If the ground is solid, get them in pots and then stand them up by a wall.
    Thank you for the reply. I'll be planting tomorrow then! Will tulips and daffodils still be ok? I guess they'll still come through, just a little later. Would it mean that they might not flower if I've planted late? 

    Does earlier planting just mean earlier growth and flowering? Or does planting earlier give them a better chance of survival? If I have left it this late is there a chance some bulbs will die or won't bloom?

    Thank you 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    Yes - as @fidgetbones says - get them planted. Pots are ideal if you don't have a site in the ground yet.
    If you try to store them it's problematic. They need to be in growth to build them up for the following year too. Any that are damaged or dried out won't be viable. Bear in mind that tulips require different conditions from most daffs, as they need good drainage, but adequate moisture in late winter/early spring depending on type. Not all will return the following year anyway. 
    Planting in autumn just means that most spring flowering bulbs have the best chance to flower at the recommended time because they're at their most healthy. Tulips can be susceptible to a virus in planted in warm soil, but if you're in a colder area it's fine, and if planting in pots using a commercial compost, it's also fine.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you, I'll get them all in now! Fingers crossed. Thanks both. 
  • Just checked them and sadly alot of them have some mould growth and are a little dry 😢 shame. I think I'll just plant them and see what happens. Some might survive. 🤞
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    That's always the problem @james-HYumfQs. Plant the viable ones, and put it down to experience. 
    The growing conditions are important for bulbs too, so always try and get the best site for them. I lose quite a lot to wet soil, but it's how it is. There's a limit to how much you can do, which is why pots are useful.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • It is always worth a try. You may have a few flowers. Any bulbs that feel soft or squidgy when pressed between your fingers will not flower. A shame but a lesson learnt, we are all learning, every day.
  • P.S. I hope you were not sold cheap Spanish bluebells. They are very invasive and are killing off the native bluebell. Do not plant out any dodgy bluebell bulbs, chop up the bulbs and black sack them amongst the rest of the rubbish. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    The OP has stated they were labelled as native ones, so hopefully that's correct.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pretty sure they were native as I asked. Here is the photo. Yes a few a soft but have shoots, so I'm planting in the woodland area and will see what happens. They were £1 for a reason ha. But always the school budget to think off. Might yield a few clumps. More upset about the tulips as they were nice ones, but not all are squidgy. Some are just soft in areas but mainly form. A few mouldy bits on the daffs. I planted so many at the right time last year so they're going to look great, but completely forgot about these in the far back shed 😬 thanks again for all your help. I'll get them in a d hole for the best. 🙏🏼
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