Something strange is going on. This is a rather warm winter, and up to less than a week ago, I was mostly walking around with a T-shirt and shorts. When I switch to longer pants and sleeves for riding my bike to work on the cool mornings, I feel rather hot during the rest of the day. I live in zone 10 which (although warm) should have been much colder. At-least it's raining...

It seems that my Hippeastrums are enjoying the somewhat tropical climate, and few have decided to flower in the fall, which is a bit unusual. They normally flower in spring. I planted them at roughly the same time. Some are leafing-out faster than others, and two are about to leaf-out after they are done flowering.

Crocus and hyacinths have sprouted a short tip and then entered into some suspended animation.

Two hyacinths from last year did the same, and they turned-out to have root-rot. They did not infect the other hyacinths nearby, so I guess it's not a disease.

My Narcissus bulbs which I have kept for few years are fully-grown, but the new ones I bought have sprouted and decided to go dormant, leaving a small green tip poking-out of the soil...

My tulips are not to be seen anywhere... I did not dig them out to see what's left of them.

If the temperatures drop before the end of winter, will they sprout and complete their cycle before the summer? Can they survive a warm winter in that situation and grow again next fall? Are they total-loss?

2 Answers 2


I can only give you an anecdotal answer, but your bulbs should be fine - although I have no experience with growing Hippeastrum outside (I can only grow it as a pot plant). I live in zone 5 and have had similar experiences with daffodils, tulips and garlic sprouting in November and early December here in Wisconsin.

A couple of years, the garlic got to be 3–4 inches tall, the daffodils about 1–2 inches, and the tulips only the red nubbins you see in spring. The leaves had to wait "outside" under intermittent snow cover until late March (their usual sprouting time here). The garlic and daffodil foliage that was above ground browned and dried, but the lower parts of those same leaves were greeen as usual as they grew to maturity. There was no damage to the tulips. The only exception to this are grape hyacinths, which always sprout in the fall here and overwinter without problems.

We've also had late frosts (as low as 18°F) with no damage to the leaves, buds, or flowers of all spring bulbs (including hyacinths). True lilies, OTOH, died back to the ground, sprouted late, grew poorly and died.

So - your bulbs (except, perhaps, the Hippeastrum) should be just fine this coming spring. If you use natural mulch and want to hedge your bets, you can always bury the sprouts with mulch to give them a little protection.


It depends on the climate zone you are in . Tulips will not bloom unless it is below freezing ( at least at night ) during the winter ; crocus and hyacinth like cold weather . etc.

  • Except for tulips, which are a new addition, I have managed to grow crocus, hyacinths and Narcissus bulbs, and they flowered in spring as I expected. I live in zone 10 and those three seem to like it. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 12:07
  • I suggest getting information from a local agricultural source on bulbs that will grow in a warm climate. My experience is bulb plants usually grow in cooler locations . Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 15:56
  • @blacksmith37 In the UK you can buy bulbs which have been "prepared" by the suppliers by a period at low temperatures to simulate their winter dormant period. These will grow and flower as soon as they are planted in "warm" conditions. They are intended for growing spring flowering bulbs so that they flower early (e.g. at Christmas) indoors in pots. I don't know whether similar products are available in climates which don't have cold enough winters. Of course if you don't have natural cold winters, you will need to buy new prepared bulbs every year.
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 16:20
  • Some species of bulbs seem to have a "natural clock" and will attempt to grow after about 12 months in any conditions, even if they are not planted. That may be what happened to the OP's attempt to grow hyacinths in the second year.
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 16:25

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