tulip and daffodil bulbs. How old is to old?

fmart322(Z6SNJ)April 2, 2013

Hello, my mother had some tulip and daffodil bulbs in her garage. She never planted them and gave them to me in the fall. I never got to them due to work and then forgot all about them.

I don't know how old they are, nor does she. I would like to plant them, even tough I know they should go in during autumn.

There is no date on the package.

How do I know if they are still viable or not?

Could I plant them now, in early spring, for next year?

Is there a good website, with pictures, I can do research on my own?

Thanks for any and all help.

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gardengal48

Gently squeeze the bulbs. If they are soft or have a lot of give, they are too old. Throw 'em away.

Having said that, even if firm and appearing healthy, bulbs that have sat out unplanted for a couple of seasons will produce very poor results, if any. The energy or growing ability stored in the bulb deteriorates with time. The tulips I'd go ahead & toss. They seldom perennialize well even when fresh and I doubt ones more than a year old will do anything.

I'd find an out of the way corner of the garden and go ahead and plant the daffodils now - bulbs keep better in the ground than they do in a garage :-) Next spring you will hopefully see some signs of foliage. You can apply a little bulb fertilizer then and let them go. May (unlikely) or may not (very likely) bloom but if given proper conditions and little TLC they may come back into their own in a couple of seasons.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:25PM
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fmart322(Z6SNJ)

Thanks.
I'll give it a shot. I have just the spot for them.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:12PM
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