Can I plant different bulbs in the same hole? / Do I have to bring my poinsettia inside now?
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Issue: September 27, 1999

Can I plant different bulbs in the same hole?


I was wondering if there were any restrictions about planting bulbs together? For example, can I plant tulips, crocus and iris bulbs in the same hole?


As far as planting bulbs in the same "hole" there should be no major problem in the short run, except that they should be at different depths. The tulip should be deeper than the crocus and the iris. In the long run, over a few years, the plants will begin to crowd each other and become less vigorous and perhaps stop flowering. They will not have sufficient room to multiply and grow well. It would be wiser for the long run to use different holes several inches to a foot apart, each to the proper depth for the type of bulb.

By separating the plants it will make it easier for you place phosphorus fertilizer just below the bulb (separating the bulb from the fertilizer by a couple of inches of soil). However, to answer your specific question, if it is necessary to quickly plant the bulbs, they may be at different depths in the same hole.

Do I have to bring my poinsettia inside now?


Even though it will be a month or so until we have frost, do I need to bring my potted poinsettia plant indoor so I can make it bloom this winter? I remember reading that I must keep it in a closet at night from now until near Christmas.


You can leave your poinsettia outside as long as it is not in an area illuminated by a street light or a porch light. Once we have passed the autumnal equinox, the nights will be longer than 12 hours and that is what induces flowering in the poinsettia. The important factor is that the nights not be interrupted by light. The cooler nights, as long as it is not too cold, also help with flower development.

Once cold weather threatens, well before the chance of freezing, you should bring your poinsettia indoors to a well lighted location during the day, but a location that has uninterrupted darkness from sunset to sunrise. Longer periods of darkness, from before sunset to after sunrise is good, however, continuous darkness is not good. Several hours of light is necessary.