Storing and Planting Early Spring Bulbs

Jan 20, 2020

Client's Request:  What bulbs can I plant in the spring?  Where can I buy them? Thanks

Help Desk's Response: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk with your question about bulbs that can be planted in spring. 

There are a number of bulbs that are planted in spring, although some are actually planted as early as February. Examples are amaryllis, tuberous begonias, dahlias, gladiolus, and tuberose. The UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County have put together a list of bulbs and their planting and blooming times: 

Note that the times are for Sacramento County. If you are in central or eastern Contra Costa County you should be able to follow the Sacramento timing. In western Contra Costa County, you may be able to plant those bulbs a bit earlier (several weeks) since there is less danger of frost. 

In terms of where to buy bulbs, I suggest checking with a local nursery. The big box and some other stores also carry them. I would suggest you carefully examine them all as the local box store where I live in central county often sells them displayed outdoors in full afternoon sun which isn't recommended as they should normally be out of direct sun and in a cool environment. Napa MG has published an excellent guide on storing bulbs ( There are also many bulb growers and suppliers who sell online, and for many, they will probably be end-of-season pricing. 

I hope this helps. Let us know if you have additional questions or need further information.

Good luck with your summer-blooming bulbs!

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (ECS)
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