mystery bulbs emerging under snow

kitteh(6 ohio)January 14, 2013

There was a patch of mystery bulbs nearly a year ago when I was starting out (maybe daffodils, the bulbs were very small though) that never bloomed and I wanted to plant in that area - I cultivated them into the ground with other grasses and such, thinking they would just become like a green manure too. I made the patch into a nice little garden, then in fall chopped down the annuals and put them under the soil too.

It was rather warm but there were snow days too, and I noticed once the snow melted there are little scattered bulb-leaves coming up and one even with a flower starting.

February is our coldest and we should get snow. What should I do if anything to the plants?

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ladyrose65

Can you put up a picture?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 10:19PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

I can tomorrow.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 10:38PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

Not the best pic but the flowering one isn't open enough to see any coloring yet, and that is a black raspberry stalk in the background for size reference.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:48AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

They could be snowdrops. The bud is out of focus but doesn't look like a daffodil. The do not appear to be the weedy Muscari or Ornithogalum. The flower will tell you unequivocally. You do not need to remove bulbs in order to grow annuals or perennials in the same bed. The bulbs will be over by the time the other flowers need the space. In fact I like to have bulbs everywhere in the garden under perennials, shrubs, trees, anything.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 12:15PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

I didn't know if the cold would ruin them. I planted a patch of bulbs next to them this season, but none look like them. I don't remember the bulbs I mixed in being all knobby like that either.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 2:24PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Snowdrops, if that is what they are, will take any weather thrown at them. I don't know what that knobbly thing is but it isn't a snowdrop bulb, or in fact any sort of bulb.

It could almost be a Jerusalem artichoke.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 3:51PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

It appears I went and pulled up the most diseased weird bulb of them. I went and got a few more and they look like bulbs.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

There was a patch of mystery bulbs nearly a year ago when I was starting out (maybe daffodils, the bulbs were very small though) that never bloomed and I wanted to plant in that area - I cultivated them into the ground with other grasses and such, thinking they would just become like a green manure too.
It is rather difficult to kill a bulb that is planted, other than it maybe killing it by being too wet and rotting, or too dry and dying. When you cultivated the soil, you just mixed the overly crowded bulbs that could not bloom, around in the soil. By mixing them around, and getting them spread out, they had a chance to grow and thus make a few blooms this year.

From the looks of the one with a bud, it looks like an early 'double' daff, possibly a historic like at the link below. There are numerous early double ones. Double daffodil buds typically are fatter as opposed to being longer and slimmer on singles.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Double Daffodil Telamonius Plenus

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:29AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I agree with chemocurl - they do look like daffodils. Especially now I can see the whole bulb. I was fooled by what I thought was the scale and decided they were smaller than daffs. I am still certain that the knobbly item you show is not a bulb at all, even a diseased one.

p.s. I'm really pleased you didn't manage to kill them off!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 1:07PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

Cool, I'll let them be until they're done then find a better home for them (I noticed a bunch more popping up in the lawn, and one of the bulbs in the pic had recently divided).

The knobby creepy thing did have bulb-leaves just like the others that looked healthy, but I damaged them trying to pull it out. It was only about 1" deep and looked the easiest to pull ..... maybe that's how it got weird from freezing?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:51PM
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johnsonm08(5a)

The knobby thing looks like a violet.
Mike

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

The knobby thing looks like a violet.
I agree, but it could be something else, either friend or foe. It for sure is not a bulb.

It will be interesting to see what all emerges in your new bed this spring.

Hopefully we can find out for sure what grows from the knobby looking thing. Did you replant it?

Sue

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 8:38AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Other possibles for the knobby thing (and I agree with Mike on the violets option) are - Corydalis, Dicentra, Primula.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:06PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

I replanted them, but the mystery knobby thing did have two 'bulb-leaves' (is there a proper word for those?) that were about 3" long.

Maybe I should replant it in a pot away from the bulbs.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 9:52AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Could you post a picture of the leaves from the 'knobbly thing'?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 1:56PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

It looked no different than the ones in the picture. Maybe it was just close to a bulb and I dug it after pulling the leaves instead, though I kinda remember pulling the other bits of leaf away then washing it for the photo, it was caked in mud so I didn't see it was knobby at first. I didn't plant the other types mentioned so I do want to see what it grows into. I found another one - or two? when I went to find it to pot. It's in a sterile mix in the cold frame so I can watch it.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:17PM
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