Dealing with Early Blooming Bulbs

Hardly a year goes by that spring flowering bulbs don't send up leaves in winter. This always sends gardeners into a head spin and generates a lot of questions, especially in early March.

The problem is that sometimes bulbs that were planted too early in the fall produce leaves before winter sets in. In addition, with fluctuating winter temperatures, it is sure to send up foliage after there has been a spell of balmy weather.

Once the foliage has broken through the ground, the leaf tips may be damaged by hard freezes, but the plant will be able to grow more leaves and the flowers should bloom at their usual time. As normal flowering time grows closer, there is always a chance that flowers will begin to emerge during warm spells, and be nipped in the bud as they say.

Many other anxious gardeners will try to cover the flowers, but often the weight of the cover does more damage than good. Applying mulch after the buds have started to come up will not provide adequate protection for the foliage and may actually encourage disease and insect problems. The best thing to do when your spring flowering bulbs come up early is to just do nothing. Nine times out of ten, premature leafing has no effect on the quality of the bloom.

I've always said if the spring flowering happen to bloom early just enjoy the beauty earlier. Crazy weather patterns often happen. However, even if you think your spring flowering bulbs may have taken a hit, most of the time they will get along just fine.

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