Early Emergence of Spring Bulbs
Foliage and flower buds of spring-blooming bulbs, like daffodils, crocus and tulips, start to emerge due to some periods of warm weather. A common concern among homeowners and landscapers is the fate of their bulbs during additional cold winter-like weather.
When cold weather returns, bulb growth naturally slows. Flower buds are at the greatest risk, and may be damaged if temperatures drop below 26°F. Foliage can also be damaged. Bulbs planted near a foundation, especially on south or west sides, or on a south-facing slope, are most susceptible to early emergence and freeze injury.
To prevent early emergence, avoid planting bulbs against foundations or south-facing exposures. Existing plantings on susceptible sites should be mulched in the fall after the ground has frozen. Use a six-inch layer of organic material, such as straw or shredded leaves.
When cold weather threatens, consider cutting flower stems if buds are showing color for enjoyment in the home. Leave the majority of the foliage on the plant for photosynthesis, food production and storage for next year's blooms.
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013