Tuesday, November 09, 2010
It's Bulb Season...
Plants that are not properly vernalized will NOT flower. Without these cold temps, floral induction does not occur and they will remain vegetative. In other words – they only grow leaves. Bulbs that grow only leaves and don’t make flowers are said to be “blind.”
When bulbs are harvested and shipped to retailers they have NOT been exposed to enough chilling hours to vernalize. In places with colder climates it’s pretty easy to do this. You plant bulbs in the fall and the process occurs naturally, resulting in a beautiful display of spring color (that comes back year after year). Here in our semi-tropical environment we don’t get enough cold weather to naturally vernalize most bulbs. Thank goodness!!! I grew up in cold weather and this is a small price to pay not to have to endure freezing temperatures, ice and snow. Give me warm weather any day!!! Oops – kind of got off track there.
The Southern Bulb Company has a great website http://www.southernbulbs.com/catalog/index.php and their entire inventory is available on-line. These bulbs are pricey – but they are specifically selected with our semi-tropical environment in mind. Oh – and BTW, they make great gifts (especially for Christmas) since they shouldn’t be planted until late December – January anyway. Chris has an informative blog you might be interested in as well