Spring Garden Tips
Planting Bulbs Right Side Up

Green side up is the direction new gardeners receive when planting trees, shrubs and perennials. But it is not as clear which side goes up when planting bulbs, corms and rhizomes.

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mgm audio 100915 planting bulbsThese underground structures, I'll refer to as bulbs, are usually planted when dormant before any green growth is showing. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are easy since they are planted 6 to 8 inches deep with the pointed end facing up and the flat end down.

But many like tuberous begonias, crocus and cannas do not have a distinct top and bottom. Fortunately, even bulbs planted upside down will find their way to the surface.

Place canna and dahlia rhizomes on their side when planting at the proper depth. Locate the root plate, a somewhat flat area with the majority of roots attached, on callas and anemones. Place this side at the bottom of the planting hole.

A bit more information: Always select bulbssuited to your growing conditions. Wait until the soil cools to about 55 degrees, this is usually after the first fall frost or when night temperatures remain in the 40's.

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