After Blooming

After flowering, the bulbs may be disposed of, as most will not flower well again. However, if you keep watering forced bulbs after they have finished blooming you can plant them in the garden once the weather has warmed up. However, the bulbs have used up lots of energy in the forcing process and the blooms the following spring may not be as good as if you planted fresh bulbs in the fall.

Hyacinths and daffodils, may flower again if planted outdoors, but tulips, in particular, do not come back well after being forced. In general, the smaller bulbs, like crocus, scilla, and snowdrops are the best ones to replant in the garden.

If you want to save the bulbs, fertilize the plants with a high phosphorous houseplant fertilizer to keep them moist and to encourage healthy green leaves for the longest period of time. Plant the bulbs in the spring after their foliage has died down, at their normal depth in the garden - about 6 - 8 inches (15 - 20 cm) deep for large bulbs and 3 - 5 inches (8 - 12 cm) deep for smaller bulbs.

To store bulbs: dig up the bulbs when the foliage has turned yellow and withered. Air dry in a well ventilated area for a week. Then remove all soil from the bulbs. Bulbs must be dried before storing or they will rot. Dust the bulbs with a fungicide and store in a dry peat moss or wood shavings in a brown paper bag, an open crate, a mesh bag or even old pantyhose. Store at 50 - 55° F (10 - 13°C) in a dry location until time to replant.

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Last modified: July 3, 2008