Can I Plant Forced Bulbs In The Yard?

Can I Plant Forced Bulbs In The Yard?

At this time of year our greenhouse has a steady supply of spring-flowering bulbs. Everyone enjoys having a pot of the small Tête-à-Tête daffodils, grape hyacinths or other signs of spring on their kitchen table or windowsill in February. But after the flowers have gone by, many wonder if they can save these bulbs for planting outside. The answer is yes. Here are some tips for success:

  • Leave the stems from faded flowers on the plant. These stems usually stay green and are photosynthesizing, which creates energy that is stored in the bulb.
  • Place the pot of bulbs in a sunny window. This allows the leaves and stems to produce energy. That energy will allow the bulb to grow roots once it’s planted outdoors, and to produce flowers next spring.
  • Water the plant regularly and fertilize once a month. Don’t let the bulb stand in a saucer of water, which will cause root and bulb rot – water well once a week and then empty any excess water out of the saucer. Fertilize with a synthetic fertilizer such as Dyna-Gro liquid or Bonide Liquid Plant Food, mixed according to directions.
  • Do not allow the pots to dry up. Do not put them in the garage or outdoors. It’s very important that you help the plants to grow and store the energy for next year because this will be their one shot to do so.
  • In late-March plant the bulbs outside. Bury the bulbs 3x their height into the soil, even if it means burying part of the foliage. Most bulbs do best if planted where they will get part to full sun and have good drainage.
  • Water the bulbs well after you plant them, and fertilize one more time when they are in their “new home.”
  • Let the foliage die back naturally when the bulbs/plants are outside…don’t cut off the leaves until they turn yellow or brown.
    Grape hyacinths will spread when grown outside, so place them where they can "travel."

    Grape hyacinths will spread when grown outside, so place them where they can “travel.”

     

    Tete-a-tete daffodils are reliably perennial in the landscape. Since they are shorter than other varieties be sure to place them in the front of flower beds.

    Tete-a-tete daffodils are reliably perennial in the landscape. Since they are shorter than other varieties be sure to place them in the front of flower beds.

     

    Hyacinths are fragrant, so position them where you will pass by in the spring and enjoy their perfume.

    Hyacinths are fragrant, so position them where you will pass by in the spring and enjoy their perfume.

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