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Planting Bulbs Right Side Up

Green side up is the direction new gardeners receive when planting trees, shrubs and perennials. But it is not as clear which side goes up when planting bulbs, corms and rhizomes.

These underground structures, I’ll refer to as bulbs, are usually planted when dormant before any green growth is showing. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are easy since they are planted 6 to 8 inches deep with the pointed end facing up and the flat end down.

But many like tuberous begonias, crocus and cannas do not have a distinct top and bottom. Fortunately, even bulbs planted upside down will find their way to the surface.

Place canna and dahlia rhizomes on their side when planting at the proper depth. Locate the root plate, a somewhat flat area with the majority of roots attached, on callas and anemones. Place this side at the bottom of the planting hole.

A bit more information:  Always select bulbs suited to your growing conditions. Wait until the soil cools to about 55 degrees, this is usually after the first fall frost or when night temperatures remain in the 40’s.

Upcoming Appearances


Jan. 26, 2022
Gardening for Wildlife
(webinar)

Jan. 29, 2022
WCBA's Home Building &
Remodeling Expo

West Bend, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 2, 2022
Small Space Gardening
(webinar)

Feb. 11-13, 2022
PBS Wisconsin
Garden & Landscape EXPO

Madison, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 18-20, 2022
NARI Milwaukee
Spring Home Improvement Show

Milwaukee, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 23, 2022
Dahlias - Proven Performers!
(webinar)

March 1, 2022
Michigan Green Industry Assn.
Annual Tradeshow & Convention

Novi, MI
(in-person event)

March 5-6, 2022
​​​​​​​Maryland Home & Garden Show
Lutherville-Timonium, MD
(in-person event)

​​​​​​​March 26-27, 2022
​​​​​​​REALTORS Home & Garden Show
West Allis, WI
(in-person event)

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