Bulbs for the south

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by alabama, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. alabama

    alabama Active Member

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    I live in Alabama zone 8 and I am looking for some spring flowering bulbs. I have heard that tulips have to be pre-chilled and treated as an annual. Is there a good alternative to tulips here?
     
  2. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    There's a number of specialists in bulbs for the South. I suspect that some of the Mediterranean species tulips could do well for you, provided they're given excellent drainage in the summer.

    Narcissus offers a number of opportunities, and I wonder whether some of the Pacific Northwest Camassia species might be happy. I wonder if anyone sells C. scilloides, from the South: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CASC5
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Narcissus spp. are your best bet in the South. If you want to grow tulips there are a few species that will do well in your area, but they are not the large flowered type you are probably used to.

    Most crocus don't perform well in the South either, but Crocus tommasinianus will come back and form nice drifts in the lawn or flower beds.
     
  4. alabama

    alabama Active Member

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    Thank you for the replies and I am soory it took so long to thank you. I am going to miss my large flowered tulips I planted up north. This southern gardening is going to take a lot of getting used to. The summer has been so dry here that the cattle farmers haven't even been able to grow hay. But we are getting some rain now though. Thanks again!
     
  5. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Here's a cool-looking Texas bulb grower. Some of what they have looks relevant to Alabama, http://www.tejasnativebulbs.com/

    The spring blooming rain lily would be nice, if you could source it from someone in your region. (There's a name problem--Cooperia=Zephyranthes) http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=135293

    Here's a wildly expensive but interesting Texas outfit. http://www.southernbulbs.com/.

    One item to look into is Lycoris radiata, flowering in fall. My limited experience in Jacksonville, Fla. indicates that it may take several years for bulbs to get established, but once they begin to spread, the show can be spectacular. In Japan, they aren't used in gardens (not auspicious, I guess), but they do grow on the banks separating rice fields, something I got to see in Kyoto.
     

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