Spring Too Soon?

A warm fall means warm fall soil. Warm fall soil means some potentially panicked individuals.

Weather like we are experiencing may trick some spring bulbs (mostly Narcissus) to begin growing, pushing leaves above ground. Do not mistake these for bulbs like Muscari, grape hyacinths, which produce new green leaves each fall after a summer dormancy. The leaves then lay under snow cover until spring, when they perk up and produce the beautiful flower clusters we all love.

Daffodils are known to follow in the footsteps of hyacinths, beginning to unexpectedly emerge and causing undue panic for some. There is no need to worry. As the weather continues to cool, the leaves will stop growing and return to a state of rest. Emergent leaves may burn at the tips, causing some unsightly foliage, but the flower buds remain well below the soil line, ready to pop up in the spring as ordered.

Aside from tricky weather conditions, another cause of early emergence might be due to bulbs being planted too shallow. One can either add a layer of mulch to protect the leaves, or lift the bulb and replant deeper. At Wellfield, we plant our bulbs to a depth of 2-3 times the length of the bulb, tip to bottom. Then relax and look forward to the first signs of spring!

Josh Steffen
Horticulture Manager

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