Fall Planted/Spring Blooming Flower Bulbs: Optimum Planting Time

Dutch Expert Info advises to plant fall bulbs anytime after night temperatures stay between 40 and 50 degrees. They also recommend planting up until 6 weeks before ground freezes. The Dutch recommended “optimum planting times” are shown below by region. However, bulbs can be planted right up to ground freeze, even after if you have to break the frozen crust on the ground, but nobody wants to do that dirty, cold work. In any case, in the cold regions, you CAN plant your bulbs easily up until the ground begins to freeze.
RegionZonesStatesOptimum planting time *
New Eng & NY3, 4, 5, 6ME, MA, CT, VT, NH, NY, RISep 15 – Nov 15
Mid-Atlantic coastal6, 7, 8NJ, DE, MD, eastern VA, Long IslandOct 1 – Nov 30
Appalachians5, 6central PA, Western NC, western VA, eastern TN, WVSept 15 – Oct 15
So Atlantic coastal7, 8eastern NC, SC, eastern GAOct 15 – Dec 15
Great Lakes5, 6, 7state of MI, eastern WISept 15 – Nov 30
E. Central5, 6, 7IN, IL, KY, western TNOct 1 – Nov 30
Central & Great Plains7, 8northern AR, northern TX, OK, KS, southern NE, MO, southern IA, eastern CO, eastern NMOct 15 – Dec 15
N. Central3, 4, 5MN, WI, northern IA, northern NE, eastern WY, eastern MT, ND, SDSep 15 – Nov 15
Tropical10southern FL (so. of Orlando)Dec 1 – Jan 31
S. Central7, 8eastern GA, AL, MS, northern LA, southern AR, central TXOct 15 – Dec 15
Gulf Coast8, 9central and northern FL, coastal AL, coastal MS, coastal TXOct 1 – Dec 31
Rocky Mountains2, 3, 4western MT, eastern ID, western WY, central COSep 15 – Nov 1
Arid West5, 6, 7eastern WA, eastern OR, eastern & central areas of entire state of CA, NV, AZ, eastern NM, UT, western COSep. 30 - Nov 30
No. Pacific Coast8coastal WA, coastal OR, coastal (far) northern CAOct 1 – Dec 1
So Pacific Coast9, 10coastal CA from Mexico to Santa RosaOct 15 – Jan 30


* You can easily add a full month onto these dates and beat the freezing ground. (applies to all cold areas)



 Source: Regional Map on Dutch Govt. Site Bulb.com
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