Zone 6 Bulb Gardening: Tips On Growing Bulbs In Zone 6 Gardens

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By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Zone 6, being a milder climate, gives gardeners the opportunity to grow a wide variety of plants. Many cold climate plants, as well as some warmer climate plants, will grow well here. This is also true for zone 6 bulb gardening. While winter in zone 6 is still too cold for tropical bulbs like calla lily, dahliaand cannato remain in ground, zone 6 summers provide them with a longer growing season than gardens in the north. Cold hardy bulbs such as tulip, daffodiland hyacinthappreciate the cool winters this zone provides. Read on for more information about growing bulbs in zone 6.

Zone 6 Bulb Gardening

Many types of hardy bulbs require a cold dormant period in winter. While winters are still cold enough in zone 6 to provide this dormancy period, gardeners in warmer climates may have to simulate this cold period for certain bulbs. Below is a list of some of the cold hardy bulbs that perform well in zone 6. These bulbs are usually planted in fall, require at least several weeks of a cold, and oftentimes naturalize in the garden:

Some bulbs that cannot survive northern winters but grow well in zone 6 are listed below:

Growing Bulbs in Zone 6 Gardens

When growing bulbs in zone 6, one of the most important necessities is a well-draining site. Bulbs are prone to rots and other fungal diseases in soggy soils. It’s also important to think about companion and succession planting with bulbs.

Many bulbs bloom for only a short time, oftentimes in spring, then they slowly die back to the ground, absorbing the nutrients from their dying foliage for bulb growth. Perennials or shrubs that fill in and bloom once your bulbs are finished can help hide the unsightly, wilting foliage of spring blooming bulbs.

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