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Do bulbs bloom the first year?

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a82allison photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 31
Posted: Mar/27/2008 4:36 PM PST

I'm just starting out in gardening and I was thinking about planting some bulbs. Do bulbs bloom the first year? I'm thinking about getting some canna and dahlia. I'm in zone 8b (Florida). I don't really know how bulbs work. I know that I've heard dahlia and canna both can get very tall, like 4ft or more. Do they do all that growing in one season?? What happens during winter? Do they die back down all the way?
JanetsFamily blog photos
Joined: 6/06/2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 354
Posted: Mar/27/2008 5:32 PM PST

From my experience, I have dahlias and they grew and bloomed the first year. Like most bulbs after they've bloomed you don't do anything with the foliage until it has turned brown/withered (the leaves need to take in the sun to feed the bulb for next year's bloom). After the leaves are brown you can cut it to the soil level and they will come up the next year. I believe you must fertilize after the plant has bloomed to also feed the bulb for next year also. I don't know anything about digging dahlia's up and storing them then replanting the next year, thankfully I don't need to do that in my zone. Hope this helps some
SmittB14 photos
Joined: 3/16/2008
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 62
Posted: Mar/27/2008 7:03 PM PST

Canna will bloom the first year. And just fyi, depending on what kind you get they'll grow up to 6-7 feet tall. I've got some here that I have to dig up each fall that grow about 6 and a half feet. Just got them last year and they bloomed.There are smaller varieties however.

Just be sure to keep the soil moist, if it dries out they'll have some trouble.
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