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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #130

Garden Tool 

Gardeners must forgo instant gratification when buying spring flowering bulbs in the fall, but a few dollars spent in September promise flowers for years to come. Here are the rules for buying good bulbs, with exceptions noted:

  • Bulbs should be heavy for their size and larger bulbs give bigger or more numerous flowers, although some tulip and daffodil varieties are naturally small in stature.
  • Bulbs should be firm and clean looking, but a little bit of the blue-green mold may be ok if it wipes off easily and the bulb is otherwise firm and heavy.
  • The papery skins should be whole, except on tulips and crocus where some sloughing and cracking is ok.
  • The bulb should not be "growing" yet (i.e. roots or stem should not be elongated.
  • The sooner you purchase and plant, the better. Bulbs languishing in a heated store will start to grow, which can lead to rot and decay.
  • What about those bulbs on sale in mid December or the bulbs you forgot about until early January? Go ahead and plant them, but the flowers may be on short, distorted stems this spring. The exception is lilies that never truly go dormant. Buy and plant these as soon as they are available. Don't waste your time or money on bargain lilies.

Keywords Bulbs
Season Fall
Created Date 2007-04-03

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