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They produce some of the most desirable flowers we know and love, but a bulb can be very confusing to an amateur gardener. We look at this little stub and think, “Seriously, a daffodil is going to sprout up from this thing?” As tropical houseplant growers, bulbs can be a totally different game when it comes to caring, with different sets of tips to be mindful of. Jenks Farmer is a bulb expert and lifelong gardener and in this ep, he joins us to break down everything you need to know about bulbs. Let's dive in!

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In this episode we learn:

  • [00:49] Growing Joy updates and invitation
  • [02:04] Watering technique tips and water quality lecture
  • [04:05] How Jenks became the bulb expert he is today
  • [07:35] What is a bulb? How do we identify bulbs?
  • [11:52] Listener question: When is the best time to plant alliums? Will the plants reproduce over time?
  • [12:43] Where can you find bulbs in nature?
  • [14:33] Beginner terms: Annuals vs perennials
  • [15:10] What is a naturalized garden?
  • [16:29] When do you plant different kinds of bulbs?
  • [18:35] How does ground temperature trigger bulb growth?
  • [19:03] How do you force bulbs indoors?
  • [23:14] How do bulbs grow? Why do we need to divide bulbs?
  • [24:53] The best gardening products for any gardening situation
  • [26:14] Where to get pre-grown plants and seeds for your spring garden
  • [27:47] Why do we need to dry bulbs? How do you store dry bulbs?
  • [28:16] How do you store caladiums?
  • [31:04] Jenks’ indoor bulb recommendations
  • [32:00] Do all bulbs go dormant?
  • [34:21] How do you plant bulbs? Do bulbs have to be planted right side up?
  • [35:32] What is the ideal soil mixture for bulbs? How often should you fertilize bulbs?
  • [37:08] How deep should bulbs be planted? Why is depth important?
  • [39:17] Jenks’ bulb recommendations for every season!
  • [42:05] Why does Jenks like crinums?
  • [42:50] Where do crinums originate from?
  • [44:11] Where can crinums grow in the country?
  • [45:29] Why Jenks wrote a book on crinums
  • [48:04] Where to find Jenks online
  • [50:01] Maria’s gardening plans update and spring announcements

Mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Territorial Seed Company

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Espoma Organic

Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To learn more about their pet safe indoor and outdoor gardening products, visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.


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