Hardiness Zone: 8a
Teresa from Burgaw, NC
I have three answers to the first part of your question: yes, no, and it depends.
Yes: If you are talking about pre-chilled bulbs that you have ordered from a bulb company the answer is yes. Many bulb companies sell pre-chilled bulbs for warmer zones that can be planted directly in the ground in the spring. Spring-flowering bulbs need to go through a chilling period before they will bloom. Most require at least 12 weeks of cold temperatures (just above freezing) to stimulate the biochemical processes necessary to grow and flower. So, if you are talking pre-chilled bulbs, go ahead and plant them in the spring.
No: If you have some left over Tulip bulbs from fall and they appear dried out and shrived your out of luck. Planting them would be an exercise in futility. Unlike seeds, bulbs are living. Although we can't always predict when it will be, they definitely have an expiration date.
It depends: If your bulbs remain plump and firm after winter storage, you have two options-plant them immediately, or store them in the refrigerator until fall. Either way you roll the dice and your results may be less than satisfactory. The way I see it, if you are likely to end up tossing them out anyway, why not give them a shot? They may surprise you and come up in late summer or early fall (although I doubt you'll see anything more than leaves). They may not come up at all. Or, there is always the off chance that they will reset themselves and magically pop up next spring. Gardening is all about miracles! The bulb's success will depend entirely on how much chilling time they can still get this spring as well as how good of shape they are in.
Because it's getting so late to plant them in your zone, if you have some extra space in your refrigerator, you may want to store them for the summer instead of planting them. Put them in a paper bag filled with slightly damp sphagnum moss and check them periodically to make sure they don't start to dry out. Make sure to keep them away from apples, onions, and grapes, too; they emit an ethylene gas that will damage the bulbs. Chill them at least 12 weeks and then either plant them, or try to force them indoors. Don't put them in the freezer-that will kill them for sure!
In response to your question about bulb rot: A wetter than usual spring can favor soil-borne bacteria and fungi infections that lead to bulb rot.
Can I plant tulip bulbs in the Spring? Will they rot? Hardiness Zone: 8a Teresa from Burgaw, NC
By Susan from Hamilton
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