It is all about timing and knowing which flowers are best when it comes to determining how to plant bulbs on the Gulf Coast. Bulbs need chilling time in the ground, but because temperatures in the region are mild during winter months, not all bulbs are suitable for the Gulf Coast climate. Despite the temperature challenges, there is a wide selection of bulbs ideal for planting in Gulf Coast home gardens. By following the planting schedule for the Gulf Coast, you can enjoy lovely and colorful blooms throughout most of the year.
Gulf Coast Planting Guide
Decide on which bulbs you want to plant. Some popular spring blooming bulbs, like tulips, crocuses and hyacinths, need a dormant period with cool temperatures before they are planted in the ground. Others, like daffodils, freesias and narcissi, are hardy spring bulbs and do not need cool temperatures before planting.
Design your bulb-planting grid based on when the flowers bloom and their size. You may want to design a flower garden filled with various blooms, or create flower borders by alternating clusters of one or two varieties. By mapping out your flower garden design beforehand, you can strategically place tall flower varieties behind smaller blooms and coordinate flowering schedules so you always have color in your garden.
Plant your bulbs in the ground anytime between October 1 and December 31. According to the USDA Climate Hardiness Zone map, this is the optimal planting time for bulbs in the Gulf Coast or Region I, Zones 8 and 9.
Rake the area where you plan to plant your bulbs and break up the soil if it is hard. Remove any large rocks, tree branches and weeds.
Dig a hole in the ground and place the bulb in it with the pointy end facing up and roots facing down in the ground. If you are planting small bulbs, the hole should be 5 inches deep. For larger bulbs, dig the hole 8 inches deep. Put in one bulb per hole and space holes about 5 inches apart.
Cover the bulbs with dirt and water immediately. Add mulch so the soil remains cool and moist during the bulb's growing stages.