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Gardening in Washington State

I didn’t get my spring bulbs planted yet. Is it too late?

Ideally, spring bulbs need to be planted in early November or before the first hard frost in your area. However, bulbs are also very forgiving and may still bloom even when put into the ground as late as early March.


Wikimedia commons, “2015-04-27 Tulip,White and Red in Sasayama, Hyogo Japan

Bulbs grow and bloom the best when planted in an area that receives direct sunlight and adequate moisture. They can be planted in groupings (3 or more) or in a straight line depending on available space in your planting location. It is a good idea to think about the height of the bulbs, not just the color, if you are planting several different types in the same area in order to create a pleasing display.

For more information, see the WSU publication PNW164 “Propagation of Plants from Specialized Structures.”

Submitted by: Sheila Gray, March 7, 2016


3 comments on “I didn’t get my spring bulbs planted yet. Is it too late?”

  1. Anne said on April 6, 2021:

    I have some Dahlia tubers I want to plant this spring. I read they cannot be planted until the last frost of the spring. I live in Seattle. Is it too late to plant them for this year?

    Second question: how many years will these Dahlia tubers come back & bloom?

  2. Daniel Brockman said on April 18, 2021:

    I procrastinated way long, I know.

    It’s April on the shores of Puget Sound, and I haven’t planted the tulip bulbs I should have planted in October. Is it just too late?

    • Chalker-Scott, Linda K said on April 18, 2021:

      It’s too late for flowers but you may still get leaf growth. Just be sure to irrigate well throughout the summer.

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