It’s been exactly one year, 9 months and 4 days since the flood destroyed our home….and that was the last time I saw a beautiful Dwarf Crinum bloom. From that moment on, I was in a frantic-bulb-rescuing-whirl-wind-of-an-adventure. Some days, I don’t even think I came up for air! The Dwarf Crinum were some of the first bulbs I dug up and salvaged. It took a while to find a nice spot where they could spread out and naturalize. It’s taken even longer for the beautiful bulbs to bloom.
Some say it is an “urban legend” that bulbs sulk when relocated. I believe this with my whole heart to be true. Heirloom Bulbs have spent decades in their same gardens. These bulbs have grown accustomed to the local seasons, the soil and the water (or lack there of). The environment changes drastically when uprooted….even if it is in the bulb’ s best interest to be moved.
As for me, I move my plants around like some people move furniture. I don’t spend a lot of forethought about garden design….I find a plant I love, and I squish it into my flower family. Usually that means I have to move a few bulbs because I unintentionally hacked through a clump of bulbs I forgot about. Either way, my gardens are in a constant evolving state of movement.
There are a lot of “do’s and don’ts” about moving bulbs. Some of the rules are enough to drive a bulb hunter crazy! Honestly, If you ever have the chance to rescue a beloved bulb from distress or from harm’s way….JUST DO IT! Yes, your beloved bulb might sulk. I’ve heard of some bulbs sulking up to five years.
Dang….that’s a long time to wait for a single flower. But Heirloom Gardeners are in it for the long haul.
The restoration of gardens are invigorating.
The historic attributes of a flower that dates back to the 1800’s are awe-inspiring.
So yes, it’s alright to give a 100 year old bulb a few years to adjust to it’s new home. 🙂
When moving a bulb while in blooming season, dig as much dirt around the bulb that you can. Place the clump of soil and root in a plastic grocery sack. Water as soon as humanly possibly, and place the bag in the shade for a few days. This is called rest time. Sometimes I let the bulb rest throughout the growing season. The important thing is to avoid as much shock to the bulb and keep it growing. Remember, the foliage is next year’s energy for flowering. Don’t cut the yellowing foliage. Let your lovely bulb treasure be unsightly for a bit. Plant when the bulb looks like it is growing and happy.
When I need to move a bulb that is in the process of going dormant, I dig it up the same way as above. I water the bulb just a bit and let the bulb alone, resting in the shade. As soon as the yellow foliage is crisp, I plant the bulb in it’s new home.
Are Heirloom Bulbs, like Dwarf Crinum, Oxblood Lilies and Spider Lilies worth it….even if they sulk?
All I can say is…..does a bear have hair?
If you’d like to get your hands on some of these beautiful, sulky heirloom treasures, the Garden Project will be raising money through an old-fashioned plant swap/bulb give-away. We plan on making the world more beautiful around us. Oxbloods are already bagged up. If you are local to Llano,Texas the bulbs are *free*!!!!! If you come for a lovely visit, I might just give you s sack of bulbs too 🙂
Most of you know, I don’t make a dime off this little flower site. It’s all about you. Sharing the love and sharing the bulbs that were rescued from abandoned and demolished homesteads. It’s also all about providing jobs fir the Garden Helpers. Finally, it’s all the Lord. His beauty and His creation, like the Dwarf Crinum and other Heirloom Bulbs,,are iinspiring for all to behold.
“Every good gift comes from Heaven above.”
Happy Gardening, my friends!