“Don’t Dry Out Those Bulbs!”

Well shoot. Another lesson in the garden learned the hard way. Clearly, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, or perhaps I’m more like a spoon trying to cut through a big ‘ol steak. I am drawn to the lands of impossibility. I enjoy the challenge of seeing what will grow in my “garden of rock-eden”. I do love my little plot of earth, bad soil and all….but learning lessons in the garden is never fun. This year, I lost an entire season of Fall Bulb beauty due to the drought. It wasn’t entirely my fault, but still. I definitely overestimated the drought-hardy component of these heirloom beauties. I pushed their little bulb-hearts too far. I should never have let them dry completely out.

So here is my important lesson of the season….Do not let your bulbs dry completely out.

It can be challenging to find the perfect balance between dry and crisp. Imagine a bad haircut…..sometimes it’s only a half an inch of hair that can completely ruin your mood for months. But hair will always grow back, just like your heirloom bulbs.

The important “dry but not too dry” factor has to do with the fleshy roots that are still in tact after the bulb goes dormant. I’m not a botanist, nor do I play one on TV, but many times when I move bulbs I find that the living source of roots are still living. It makes sense that it is easier to wake up a dormant Spider Lily bulb when the bulb is only partially asleep. This year, most of my Spider Lilies were in deeeeeeeeeeeep sleep. The floral display was pitiful. I’ve been watering and the foliage is appearing, too late on the scene to bloom though.

My plan for my Spider Lilies, Rain Lilies and Sternbergia is to move them out of the full, all-day, blazing hot sun. 🔥 Quite frankly, nothing deserves that kind of torture except maybe a cactus. It was not too bright to try to fill up ugly, barren spots with my beloved flower bulbs…..

Unless the barren spots were filled up with Oxbloods.

Oxblood Lilies laugh at the heat and poor soil conditions. These are the toughest bulbs I’ve ever seen. Full sun, little sun, good soil or gosh-awful soil, water, no water….Oxblood Lilies are survivors. I actually blogged about Oxblood Lilies being “Survivor Bulbs” when I found some survivors under the flood debris.

If you haven’t seen signs of life with your Fall flower bulbs, start watering to wake them up. You might want to check the amount of sun your bulbs receive in the hot summer. Mulch retains moisture, as does straw.

happy Gardening, my friends!