? neighbor gave my unplanted daffodils

hoover67(7a)March 15, 2011

Hi,

My neighbor just gave me about 200 to 250 daffodil bulbs that she bought last fall. She did not have a chance to plant them due to health problems. She will most likely be moving so she wanted me to have them. They are in the bag. Most seem firm. A lot of them have started to "sprout" already. I am in North Alabama. Can I plant them now? Will they make it? I don't care if they do not bloom this year.

Thanks!

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gardengal48

Sure, go ahead and plant them now. You're right - they may not (probably won't) do anything more than grow a bit of foliage but treat them as though they were normally planted and growing daffs (leave the foliage in place until it dries and dies off naturally) and they should be fine for next spring.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:57AM
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goren

Hoover, without throwing a wrench into your plans--but don't blame anybody but your friend for delaying the gift and hammering you for wasted effort and further waste of a large plot of land you have put the 'narcissus' into, chances are those bulbs will amount to nothing ...nothing except maybe food for squirrels, mice, coons and other vermin.
The bottom of the bulbs have to have a basal plate where roots form.
Narcissus are 'true' bulbs, that is: everything that is the plant, is inside the bulb and for the foliage and stems, and flower and everything, to come out, it must have roots.

Without going into deep detail, I invite you to read about "what is a true bulb"...and why its important to plant these in the fall---into cool ground.
In Alabama right now I'd say probably you are in the middle of spring...your lawns are growing, your tulips might be up already...well, that's what you get for living in a southern climate.
Bulbs that are supposed to be planted in the fall use the cool, cool ground to generate roots and because of this are able to take up food.

It'd be nice if you plant these and have them stay that way until fall when the roots would form but the odds are against you. They are just fodder for what likes to eat them.
Storing them for such a long time between now and autumn also is not possible. For maybe 3 months, in a refrigerator or other cool place where they receive temperatures of 35ú - 50ú F...they survive--but longer than that they accumulate moisture and moisture is an enemy of a bulb. As it warms it begins to deteriorate and rot sets in.

If all this doesn't make sense, then ask yourself why do we buy bulbs in the fall....why not throughout the year.
If we can plant them in March, then why not buy in March.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 5:19PM
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the_next_generation(5)

Traditionally, goren is right about the time to plant.

However, if your bulbs are sprouting, they're telling you they want to live. If they're fighting without soil, nutrients, and water, they've definitely got a chance. If you don't want to plant them in the ground, try them in containers until you see if they survive. That will also allow you to control their climate a little more than in the ground.

When you plant them, wherever you do, put a healthy dose of a fertilizer with a high middle number in with the soil. The middle number is Phosphorus which promotes plant rooting and flower starts. Since they're behind the ball this should help them out a little. Plantone has a 5 - 10 - 5 fertilizer though you could go with something higher and more pure if you want to - I have no experience with pure sources like 0 - 50 - 0 so I can't tell you how they work. They also have bulb food at places like Brecks that I always put in with new bulbs but I don't know what the chemical makeup is of that.

Because you're so far south, and it really is the time that most daffs would be peaking or winding down, by the time that they get to blooming, or spending their growth cycle, it'll be a little warmer. Give these daffodils an extra inch or two of mulch on top of them (even in a container if that's what you choose) to help keep their roots cool. Then, if you had them in containers, plant them in the ground in the fall and fertilize them well again.

On a basic level, as long as the bulbs never dry out, they'll live. My fiance has no idea about flowers, so when he bought his grandmother's house years ago, he covered everything with weed barrier and a few inches of stone. After I rescued the garden, I've been finding little surprises every year from things that had lain dormant for YEARS and are just now coming up. Granted, these were planted, but the point of my telling you that is that bulbs are tough.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:06AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Plant them- daffodils are very tough. It's the wrong time of year, but the sprouts mean that they are strong enough to put out foliage and soak up energy for next year. As long as they are firm and not spongy, they will bloom next spring.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:55PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I am planting daffodils TODAY & they will bloom late.
I have got sale bulbs before & had no problem.
I lost some bulbs for 24 months once & they dried up to nothing.
But healthy bulbs can be planted in the Spring instead of the fall.
Do not be fooled into believing Spring sale bulbs are not grown in the same field as last Falls bulbs. They sit in the warehouse for 5-6 months longer, that is all.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:43PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Plant them, they might not bloom this year but they should next year and ever year after that. I've planted plenty of bulbs at the wrong time of year...I go around to nurseries and buy the pots that are done blooming for half price and plant those too. They all live...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:01AM
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goren

I'll grant you something is going on that causes a bulb to push up ??what is being pushed up in these bulbs but is due to its using food that is causing it or is the bulb being affected by warmth and what light they were given to bring about what the writer sees.

Again....and again and again.....if the bulbs have formed roots...then what has come about is due to that fact...the roots have taken in nutrition.
If there are no roots.....IF THERE ARE NO ROOTS....then how in heaven's name can the bulb survive.
You cant change biology and just assume a bulb is a bulb is a bulb and can be planted anytime you say..It's TOUGH.
Theyère not tough....(cant put the apostrophe in cuz this darn machine keeps putting the french accented è where the apostrophe is supposed to go)

It comes down to...if thereès roots....then planted they might show somehting...chances are though not this year...maybe next year if they survive.
If no roots....throw them on the compost pile and save your back.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:01PM
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