deeper planting bulbs

Cameron McMaster
Tue, 18 Nov 2003 01:35:51 PST
Brian wrote:
>In a recent UK TV programme it was implied that planting bulbs deeper
>than "normal" discouraged bulbs from increasing by side bulblets, and
>consequently gave larger flowers and continuing flowering in subsequent
>years. In this case large flowered tulip hybrids were the example. The
>commentary I think said "deeper planting, equals cooler bulbs, larger
>flowers, longer bulb life", though presumably less bulb increase.
>Is this "cooler bulbs point" a valid argument for bulbs like tulips, or
>indeed bulbs in general? 

I'm wondering if this applies to 'bulbs' only, and not to corms such as the Iridaceae?
To quote from Mary Sue's copy of Gordons Summerfield's talk at the IBSA Symposium in SA:

>An aspect of planting that I
> overlooked, to my detriment, for many years is the depth that one plants
> mature bulbs and corms.  Consider the normal growth cycle from seed.  The
> plant pulls itself down to the optimum level before producing flowers.  So
> when planting mature or near-mature bulbs/corms, err on the shallow side
> rather than too deep.  Too deep and you will produce spindly plants that
> will finally give up the ghost.  On the other hand, planted too shallow,
> they might require a little more time to flowering properly.  Also don't be
> shy to plant your bulbs/corms grouped together ie. in the middle of the
> container.  I am convinced there is a symbiotic influence.  Certain corms
> such as Lapeirousia's, Romulea's and Hesperantha's are bell-shaped with a
> flat bottom, plant these at an angle to assist their movement down to the
> optimum level (I always make a note of the depth of existing bulbs/corms
> when re-potting).

Napier, Western Cape
Mediterranean climate with some summer rain

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