Bulbs must be planted in the fall before the first hard frost. It is best to wait until the outside temperature does not get above 65 degrees anymore and soil temperatures are around 55 degrees. Tulips can even be planted after the ground freezes, but Daffodils need to get rooted before then and should be planted by early October. If there is a hard frost in the first couple weeks after planting, mulch your beds and remove in the spring. Light morning frosts will not hurt the bulbs.
If you’ve had newly planted bulbs come up the next Spring with only foliage and no flowers, particularly Daffodils, most likely they were not planted early enough for the bulbs to initiate blooms. They should produce blooms the 2nd Spring. If you don’t get to planting your bulbs in time in the fall, put them in a brown paper bag and place in a refrigerator or root cellar, where they will stay around 35’F for at least 8 weeks. This chilling period will initiate bloom, so that you can plant them as soon as the ground thaws the following spring and they will grow as normal.
Planting bulbs in the Fall can be relatively easy, whether in the ground or in a pot. Click here to see videos on doing both.
Another great resource is the Gardening Guide online supported by our bulb supplier.