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Growing winter bulbs in subtropical Queensland

dee12
New Contributor

Growing winter bulbs in subtropical Queensland

Hi I live in qld in a subtropical climate, it's very hot in summer and can get cold in winter, just wondering if you can grow winter bulbs and spring in this climate?? Can I do anything to stop my plants getting burned in.winter? 

JaneK
Moderator
Moderator

Re: bulbs

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @dee12. Thanks for joining the discussion. It's fantastic to have you join us. What a great set of conversation starters.

 

With the winter bulbs, you might have to be a bit sneaky and trick the bulbs into thinking they're in a cooler climate by storing them in your fridge for a few weeks before you plant them. Could you tell us a bit more about the plants that are being burned? Or share a photo so we can get an idea of what's happening? Our community is full of experienced gardeners and I'm sure that @Noelle and @Adam_W will have some wisdom to share. @MitchellMc will be back from his break on Friday and might be able to help too.

 

Many thanks for your patience

 

Jane

 

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dee12
New Contributor

Re: bulbs

Thank you so much for your help, could you tell me what  bulbs will not grow in the subtropical? the plants that do get burned are some of my plants I got through spring and summer.  I use blood and bone and the fish plant food for my vege garden and my other plants in pots and the garden, every fortnight. And horse poo and cow poo every atuman and spring. Sometimes chook poo. I have a  golden palm that isn't growing as well as my other palms, it's a bit smaller and the others, it gets water and animal poo and fish plant food. I also give the palms a handful of blood and bone ever August. It's been a bit over a year  I got all my palms. I do have clag soil 

 

 

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Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Re: Growing winter bulbs in subtropical Queensland

Hi @dee12 and welcome!
By 'winter bulbs' I assume you mean the classic spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, jonquils, freesias etc?

I'm in the sub-tropics myself so can give you some advice from my experience.
The thing to understand about bulbs is that when you buy them they should have the energy stored to flower that season coming. The flower bud develops in the season passed so that's why it's important to leave the leaves on for as long as possible & to feed them as they finish flowering.
Okay, now those new bulbs ***should*** flower virtually regardless of how you treat them, within reasonable limits of-course. The real trick in the sub-tropics is to keep them alive and flowering next season.
Most bulbs are from cool climates or at least regions with cold winters, hence @JaneK 's wise suggestion to drop them in the crisper of the fridge for a month before planting (that would need to be done in the next month or so).
Many of the bulbs are very hardy but in the sub-tropics it's about finding the right spot. I finally got jonquils to flower last year after I planted them in a mound on the side away from afternoon sun but towards the top of the mound. This means they get good sun all morning but then as the sun gets more intense the sunlight is only falling on the foliage, not so much on the soil as that can overheat the bulb.
Jonquils and daffodils are very hardy & good at naturalising and the bulbs are quite clever. If they work out that they are planted too shallow and it's too hot they will, over a couple of seasons, pull themselves deeper to cooler soil. In warmer regions I would recommend however that bulbs be planted about 25 to 50% deeper than the pack recommends.
One thing that bulbs hate is staying wet so clay soils (we have clay soil too) or soil with bad drainage will cause them to rot. That's why planting mounds work well too so do what you need to to keep them away from wet or excessively damp soil.
I haven't tried freesias yet but I'm pretty sure they will grow okay too.
The bulbs that are fussier, like tulips or ranunculus, can probably be grown too but you'd either treat them like a one-shot annual and replant from fresh bulbs every year or you'd have to lift the bulbs & store somewhere cool & dry over summer which is difficult in the humidity of the sub-tropics.
One thing I've found is that the jonquil leaves last for a lot longer after flowering in the sub-tropics compared to temperate regions. I'm not sure why but I suspect that it may be the humidity slows the browning off of the foliage. The leaves lasting longer is good as the longer those leaves are there the longer they are storing energy for next seasons flowering.
Okay... hope I answered your main question. Please come back to us with anything else.

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: bulbs

Awesome advice, many thanks for sharing your wisdom @Adam_W. I'm sure @dee12 really appreciates it.

 

Fascinating topic!

 

Jason

 

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VegaNano
Junior Contributor

Re: Growing winter bulbs in subtropical Queensland

We have red/ brown volcanic soil,water leaches straight thru..2 big handfuls of Potmix SEARLES 65 ltr

IMG_20210129_120614.jpg

 ,health's the dirt..Nutrients & water are held by plant..You can SIZZLE plants by Too Much TLC,Too Much Fertilizer..SEARLES is just right & on a cool,rainy day or evening I may add Diluted Fertilizer- IN WATER.😂

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dee12
New Contributor

Thank you so much for your help

Just wanted to say thank you all for helping me out with my gardening questions, it means alot to me, I'm trying a few ideas that I received from you all this weekend 

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