QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 8.
3. Planting Distance - 10 inches apart in ground.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 12 inches tall with a 1 to 2 foot spread.
5. Bloom Time - Early spring.
6. Planting Instructions -
Vase - Fill the vase with water to just below the bottom of the bulb. Place the bulb on the top of the vase above the water. Make sure the water level is not high enough for the bulb to come in contact with the water, because this can rot the bulb. It is best to keep the water level at least 1/4 inch below the base of the bulb. Add water up to, but not touching, the bottom of the bulb as needed.
Put the vase in a cool dark location. When the bulb shoots reach about 2 inches tall, and the root system extends to the bottom of the water, move the vase to a slightly warmer area with low light intensity. When the flowers appear keep the plant in bright indirect light with moderate temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees with night temperatures at 50 degrees or below to give the bulbs a longer blooming period. Make sure to turn the plant each day so that the flowers do not grow leaning towards the light.
In-Ground - Dig a hole or bed deep enough to allow the dormant bulb to be covered with 4 to 6 inches of soil. Place bulb pointed end up in hole and cover with soil, firming soil with your fingers. Water thoroughly.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.
In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.