Answer

Unplanted Bulbs

Question

I purchased about 50 tulip and daffodil bulbs last fall, fully intending to plant them immediately. One thing lead to another and they are still sitting in their brown paper bags. They have not even been placed in the refrigerator to cool them. Now in early February are they a lost cause or is there anything I can do to get some beautiful blooms either indoors or out? - Washington D.C.
IritaWashington, DC

Answer

I too have suffered from the good intention of planting spring flowering bulbs in the fall only to find that by late winter I still have not gotten to it. When I find myself in this situation I try to expect the worst and hope for the best.
  1. Sort through the bulbs, removing any that are soft or moldy, a little bit of mold is okay so just use your best judgment.
  2. Plant the daffodils in the garden as you had planned. Daffodils do not require a period of cold temperatures so a late planting will not affect them too much. You may not get blooms this spring, but daffodils are perennial. Allow the leaves to die back naturally and the bulb will recharge itself for a beautiful display of flowers next year.
  3. Plant the tulip bulbs in containers and keep your fingers crossed. Without a cooling period, these bulbs may not come up so do not put a lot of effort into planting them. And unlike daffodils, tulips are not reliably perennial, especially where winters are short, so they can
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