crybabeejosieApril 20, 2008

Hi all : I am new to the group and will appreciate your patience with my lack of knowledge and possibly forum redundacy.

I have recently moved to my childhood homeplace. There were many narcissus/jonquils ( don't know the name: that's what Mother called them); some were single yellow flowers; others were off white flowers in a cluster of 4 or so on a single stem. Anyway, I am redoing the beds and would like some help: 1. how do I store the bulbs until next planting season 2. how do I prepare them for storage 3. when will I plant them again?

I will appreciate your help.



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Unless they need a chill period, there's no reason to store them and you gain nothing by doing so. Just replant them. If you need to remove them from their current location and can't replant immediately, just heel them into an old nursery pot, flower pot or bucket with some of your soil until you can replant. Don't cut back or remove the foliage - the bulbs need it to recharge their energy reserves - but let it ripen and dry intact. Plant as soon as you can in a sunny area with good drainage.

If they do need a chill period in your climate, follow the same steps regarding heeling in and allowing the foliage to ripen. Once the foliage is completely dry and brown and falls off on its own, the bulbs can be removed from the soil, cleaned and allowed to dry for a few days and then stored in a cool, dark location (cellar?) until late summer when you can refrigerate them for their chilling period. Be sure they have good air circulation - storing in a netted bag like onions come in is ideal or paper grocery bags can work. Just avoid any plastic. They can be planted at any time from mid to late fall after at least 6 weeks of temperatures around 40-45F.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 10:01PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

You should not need to chill these bulbs. Since they were there when you arrived, and probably had been there for many years, chances are they are heirlooms that are well suited to your climate.

Try to wait at least eight weeks from their bloom time until you dig and replant them. At that time you can also divide the bulbs by breaking off any "babies" that have formed around the large central one. Set them into the soil at a depth of no more than 3 times the height of the bulbs. If you have dense clay soil, take care not to plant them any deeper or they may not return. For the best show, plant them about six inches apart, and plant them in masses of at least a dozen. For a more natural look, don't put them in rows. They are very nice planted under the branches of shrubs that lose their leaves every year (roses, hydrangeas, weigela, etc.), or in between perennials like daylilies.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:11AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi Crybabiejosie,

Welcome to Garden Web, and the Bulb Forum.

There were many narcissus/jonquils ( don't know the name: that's what Mother called them);
Actually Daffodil, narcissus/jonquils are often used interchangeably, though not really correct.

Narcissus is the botanic name
Daffodil is a common English name

Jonquil/Jonquilla is actually a division of Daffodils...Division 7.

Below is a link to all the different Daff Divisions.


Here is a link that might be useful: American Daffodil Society Daffodil divisions

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:40AM
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Thank you very much for your help. I have already taken these bulbs up and divided them as they were in huge clumps. Some of them had been here 40 years. (and I had cut off the foliage! mistake #2). So I will proceed as best I can and hope for the best next spring.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Hello everyone - I am also new to this site; I am in a similar situation where I am trying to re-do a bed and need to move several established jonquils, relocate some of them in the same bed, and some in other parts of the yard. The blooms are starting to fade and I think what you are telling me is that it's OK to dig up the ones to move but I can wait to plant them and let them dry up in a bucket with dirt. That way I can plant the other perennials I want and plant the jonquil bulbs in the fall. Can I do the same with my tulips which need moving? I am putting all in a cutting garden with tulips and lily of the valley for the Spring. Among other perennials, there are Louisiana iris bulbs and day lilies for summer that I am working around. Thanks very much for any and all advice!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:17PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

The blooms are starting to fade and I think what you are telling me is that it's OK to dig up the ones to move but I can wait to plant them and let them dry up in a bucket with dirt.
It is best to wait 6-8 weeks after bloom time (8 weeks is better) before digging.

Per the link below...

When the foliage has died down naturally, but
not disappeared, dig the bulbs, wash them
with a hose after cutting off any remaining
foliage, and place them in a mesh bag.
ΓΆΒΆ Hang the bags of bulbs in a well-ventilated
garden shed or garage. After several months,
the bulbs can be cleaned by hand to remove
dried outer scales, etc.

When digging I just knock off any loose soil and don't wash them.

The ideal time to replant them then is when the soil temps have cooled to 50-55 in the early fall.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing daffodils...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 7:41AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Before you dig them up: make some labels and leave yourself some 'notes for the future'.

Which ones had lots of little flowers in a bunch on the top? They often have really big bulbs, are very slow to lose their leaves - and don't mind being planted in somewhat wetter soils than the others.

Which ones came up first?

Which ones look like the storybook daffodils? Or have different trumpets - maybe flared, or double?

Where you can - keep them separate and use them for creating your 'spring pictures'.

Tulips. Yes you can lift them, and keep them separate as to colour where you can. Leave yourself a reminder label.

Some tulips form new bulbs in the same way as Narcissus and others form them way up at the tip of the old stem.

If you have room in the garden to do so - plant any little tulip bulblets like a row of potatoes, with a clear label, and leave them to grow on safely underground for a year or two. Do this at the same time as you are doing the lifting of your bulbs. IMO the littles don't have enough mass to withstand a long time out of the ground without dehydrating.

When autumn comes tip out your bulbs onto an area where you can sort through them.

There will be some that have formed clumps with lots of 'noses'. Don't split them. If they fall apart, that's different. Just treat them as singles. Otherwise, plant as a bunch.

Pick out the big plump ones for planting in prime places. If there aren't any, because they came from a crowded clump, it's ok. When you plant, give the smaller bulbs about three inches all around between them and the next one and they'll get bigger.

Throw out any that are rubbery to the touch, or have been speared while being lifted, or look a bit corky in patches. Brownish and wrinkly.

If you want to grow any on to bulk up or multiply because you love the colour/form - plant them like a crop in a part of the garden where rows belong (part of the vegie garden is usually good!). Pre-feed the land with good, old compost and a light sprinkle of fertilizer about a month before planting. You'll be grateful for the easy working and the bulbs respond well to the extra care.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:54PM
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