Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

September 22, 2014

Planting bulbs for flowers in the Phoenix, Arizona area

I started planting bulbs many years ago here at The Tropical Paradise. My motto here is *I'm experimenting mostly*, so I just grabbed all kinds of bulbs at the Dollar Store, or anywhere. Then I dug a hole not much bigger than the bulb, and jammed it in. What I got was better than nothing, but not much.

Then, on impulse many years ago, I bought some bulbs from +Easy to Grow Bulbs, Inc. and suddenly everything changed. No, I don't mean to imply that their stuff has something magical in it, although the quality definitely beats the Dollar Store, and even the sad-looking bulbs at Home Depot. It just had to do with the process. Please let me explain.

There really is something cool about mail-order bulbs. And I imagine many generations, looking at catalogs, reading up on how to care for the plants, and waiting with great anticipation. And this kind of attitude lends itself to the kind of stuff that you need to do to have success.

Of course, I made mistakes at first. I ordered stuff that really doesn't want to grow here. But then I started doing more careful research. I would check to see if a particular plant, like freesia, grew well in the Phoenix, Arizona area. It does. And after placing my order, I would continue doing my research. I would start preparing the planting area. So, when the bulbs arrived, I was ready for them, and the got the best treatment that I could give them.

One of the things that you have to learn about bulbs is what they look like when they start growing. And for freesia, which I am seeing start to sprout in late September, they can look like little weeds if you don't look carefully enough. And I have a lot of bulbs that come back year after year. Why do you suppose that I hate having people walk into the garden?

Blooms in March
You can plant freesia starting now (late September) though the winter. They will grow strongly, and will bloom in early spring. Treat them with care, as honored guests, and they will be beautiful!
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