Colorblends wholesale flowerbulbs

USDA Zones and fall bulb planting

Find your USDA Zone

Where can bulbs be planted?

Bulbs are extremely adaptable and will grow under widely diverse conditions. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and most other spring-flowering bulbs can be grown from the Canadian border down to those southern states where winter temperatures go low enough to provide the required cold period during which root systems are developed.

From the warmer half of Zone 7 through Zone 10, where soil temperatures do not cool down sufficiently in winter, we recommend pre-chilling the bulbs in a refrigerator before planting in December. We do not recommend planting in southern portions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi or Florida, unless you know what you are doing!

Sorry, no shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Guam.


Region "A"– New England

Optimum Planting Time: September 15th – November 15th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2- 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: For those in colder areas, it may be possible to "extend" the reach of marginally winter-hardy bulbs by planting in warmer 'micro-climates.' Tips: a) choose sites protected from wind and extreme cold exposure, b) mulch heavily, and c) plant deeper. It's worth a try if you really want to grow something "just beyond" your hardiness zone range.


Region "B" – Mid-Atlantic Coastal

Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - November 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 6, 7, 8

In your area, you may be able to grow many of the tropical and other marginally hardy plants by planting in warmer 'micro-climates' protected from exposure to winds and extreme cold. If you're concerned about bulb foliage that emerges in the fall or winter, put a light pine needle or straw mulch around the leaves to protect them from frost burn (but don't worry, such leaf damage is only cosmetic and won't affect the flowers).

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: If voles or other animal pests are eating your tulips, crocuses or lilies, spraying the bulbs with a product such as Ropel may help protect them. To ward off subterranean "bulb rustlers," try placing Vole Block or sharp granules of a gravel-like substance around bulbs to help create a physical barrier. Regarding deer, trials of products such as Deer Off, which must be applied at emergence and until bloom, have had some success.


Region "C" – Appalachian

Optimum Planting Time: September 15th - October 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6

You have a moderate to cold winter climate and mild summers with adequate moisture. The variety of elevations in your region offers many opportunities for different planting styles.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: The opportunity to plant on banks and hillsides offers many creative possibilities for designs and artistic combinations - even spelling out words in flowers. Mulching in this climate may be important to protect bulb foliage from late spring frosts.


Region "D" – South Atlantic Coastal

Optimum Planting Time: October 15th - December 15th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7, 8

Yours is a moderate climate with hot moist summers and cool to cold moist winters. You will be able to grow an enormous number of spring-flowering bulbs successfully. However, due to your moist conditions, only specific bulb cultivars will perennialize well. Local experts and garden centers will have recommendations.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Most spring-flowering bulbs need to remain relatively dry during their dormancy. Do not plant them where you have 'mindless summer irrigation' (a sprinkler system that comes on like clockwork, whether you need it or not). Planting in elevated beds (6"-12" above normal soil level) will help to alleviate this problem and aid in perennialization.


Region "E"– Great Lakes

Optimum Planting Time: September 15th – November 15th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7

You have the benefit of a climate moderated by the Great Lakes. However, you can experience fairly extreme climate changes and often heavy winds. Choosing shorter, sturdier cultivars that stand up better to the windy conditions may be appropriate, depending on local conditions. Later blooming cultivars may be less affected by late freezes but their flowers may not last as long if hot spells hit in late spring.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Deer can be major problem with edible tulips and lilies. Cornell University trials of products such as Deer Off, which must be applied at emergence and until bloom, have had some success.


Region "F"– East Central

Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - November 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7

Yours is an excellent area for most spring-flowering bulbs with moderately cold winters, ample moisture, and warm to hot summers.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Extend the bloom season by selecting a range of bulbs that flower throughout the early-spring, mid-spring and late-spring seasons. Remember that daffodils, leucojum, galanthus and other members of the Amaryllidaceae family are generally considered pest-resistant.


Region "I" – Gulf Coast

Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - December 31st
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8, 9

Your area, with its mild winter climate and hot humid summers, is perfect for most summer-blooming bulbs - and fine for a surprising number of spring bloomers too, if carefully chosen.

General Instructions:
Most daffodils and other narcissi will thrive in your area even without pre-cooling, but tulips will require more effort! Most hardy spring-flowering bulbs must be treated as annuals in your area as there is not normally a long enough cold period to trigger the bloom cycle. To pre-cool tulips, hyacinths and crocuses, store at 35-45 F, for instance in a refrigerator crisper drawer, for a minimum of 8+ weeks and up to 14+ weeks. It's important to avoid storing bulbs near ripening fruit, as it gives off ethylene gas which can damage the flower inside the bulb. Once removed from cool storage, plant bulbs immediately.

Special Note: Your best bets are bulbs that originate from warmer climates and do not require much if any cooling. Top performers are listed below. Other local favorites for fall planting include freesias, Anemone coronaria, and rununculus. Among the tulips (which do require cooling), Darwin Hybrids are reported as among the best performers.


Region "J" – Northern Central

Optimum Planting Time: September 15th – November 1st
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5

This lovely area has very cold winters and moderate summers. The moisture level is moderate to dry.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Because this area may have a greater risk of a dry autumn, a bit of extra water after planting may help the rooting process. When there is little or no snow cover, an extra layer of mulch should help keep the bulbs at a consistent cool temperature after they have rooted, resulting in more beautiful blossoms.


Region "K"– Central & Great Plains
Optimum Planting Time: September 30th - November 30th

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6

Your climate can experience cold winters and hot summers with occasional extreme temperature variations and moderate moisture. With a little care, conditions are great for a wide variety of hardy spring-flowering bulbs.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Plant your spring-flowering bulbs in areas with less exposure to wind and extreme cold to extend blooming season and to protect early or late bloomers from extremes in temperature variation. If the spring is dry, water weekly while the foliage is green.


Region "L"– Rocky Mountains

Optimum Planting Time: September 15th – November 1st
USDA Hardiness Zones: 2, 3, 4

< Your largely alpine environment with long cold winters and moderate summers make a good environment for hardy spring-flowering bulbs.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: A very good area for growing bulbs according to Rocky Mountain authors/gardeners, Rob Proctor and Lauren Springer. They integrate lots of different kinds of bulbs into their myriad of colorful gardens in and around Denver.


Region "M"– Arid West

Optimum Planting Time: September 30th - November 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7

Your region of relatively long cool winters, very hot to moderate dry summers and low moisture, is good for growing many bulbs, especially those native to dry climates. Though this is true for most of this large diverse region, your specific climatic conditions should be taken into account. You must especially consider major factors like high-mountain altitude, low-desert heat and sheltered valley basin environments.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note:
Because this region encompasses numerous pockets of extreme climate variance, we suggest supplementing the information here by referring to Sunset Publication's Western Garden Book or going to www.sunset.com. Both sources include information on some ten specific climates within this region.


Region "N" – Northern Pacific Coast

Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - December 1st
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8

With long cool, wet winters and springs, followed by dry summers and falls, your region is close to perfect for many spring-flowering bulbs. This climate is about as close to the English countryside as we have in the USA.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50F. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 - 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.

Special Note: Begin to plant when the soil cools off but before the weather becomes too wet and uncomfortable, making planting a chore instead of a pleasure. Because your zone 8 looks to be warm on the USDA Hardiness Map, be sure to let mail order companies know you need your bulbs delivered before the heavy rains come. Provide a specific delivery week. Otherwise, they may send your order too late.


Region "O" – Southern Pacific Coast

Optimum Planting Time: See Below
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9, 10

There are two major fall planting seasons for the Southern Pacific Coast:

Plant Mid-August (or as soon as available) into December

Bulbs native to Mediterranean and other climates, such as:
babiana, sparaxis, tritonia, watsonia, bearded iris, ixia, Oxalis purpurea, Scilla Peruviana, freesias, the small alliums, etc.

Plant Mid-October through late January

Dutch bulbs including daffodils, dwarf narcissi, rununculus, Anemone coronaria, Spanish bluebells, muscari (grape hyacinths), lilies, Dutch iris.

Many are envious of your glorious year-round weather. But few realize how great your region is for gardening with flower bulbs! True, many of the bulbs you plant in fall are different from those planted in the other regions. Classic "spring bulbs" such as tulips, hyacinths and crocuses will need pre-cooling before planting in your region and will most likely perform as annuals. (See pre-cooling info below).

But others - including the big yellow trumpet daffodils, dwarf narcissi, and iris -- need no special treatment at all and should perennialize or naturalize, if not heavily watered when bulbs are dormant (after flowering, once leaves have died back). Some tulips do better than others for you: try Single Lates, Double Lates, Lily-Flowered, and some of the species types. Local garden centers are generally reliable for stocking bulbs appropriate to your region.

Special Note: To pre-cool tulips, hyacinths and crocuses, store at 35-45F, for instance in a refrigerator crisper drawer, for a minimum of 6 weeks and up to 14+ weeks. It's important to avoid storing bulbs near ripening fruit, as it gives off ethylene gas which can damage the flower inside the bulb. Once removed from cool storage, plant bulbs immediately. Once cooled at least six weeks, bulbs may be planted anytime from November through January - and regardless of when planted, they will bloom in late February/March.