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How to Grow Bulbs in Texas

Flowering plants that grow from a bulb are popular additions to Texas gardens. However, many parts of Texas are too warm to provide the necessary chilling requirement that many bulbs, such as tulips, need in order to bloom. Therefore, bulb growing success in Texas depends on planting the right type of bulb and following the correct planting procedures. Bulbs that grow well in Texas are day lilies, irises, gladiola, amaryllis, daffodils, ranunculus, calla lilies, dutch irises and scilla or Spanish bluebells. Plant Texas bulbs in the fall.

Find an area of the garden where bulbs can grow and multiply for many years without getting disturbed. A full sun location is best because most Texas bulbs grow and bloom in the spring and decline in summer. By locating in full sun, the soil warms faster and allows the bulbs to grow and bloom more quickly in the spring.

Dig an area large enough for the bulbs to be spaced at least as far apart as each bulb is wide. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches or more depending on bulb type. Bulbs will be planted at a depth that is two times their height in clay soil and three times their height in sandy soil measuring from the bottom of the bulb. Also, add another 2 inches because you will add the bulb fertilizer below the bulb, and cover with 2 inches of soil so the bulb's roots cannot have direct contact with the fertilizer. For example, if the bulb is 2 inches high and you are planting in sand, dig the hole 8 inches deep.

Add bulb fertilizer in the amount recommended on fertilizer container label to the bottom of planting hole and cover with 2 inches of soil.

Place bulb in soil at the correct depth. Plant bulbs with root side down and pointed side up. If unsure which side is up or down, place the bulb on its side at the correct planting depth.

Cover bulb planting with soil and water to settle the soil around the bulb. Add a 1-inch layer of mulch over the planting area to help conserve moisture.

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