Got what I paid for- now what?

mrtulinApril 14, 2010

My question is whether with good care bulb size (hence flower size) can be increased from one season to the next.

I ordered hundreds of muscari bulbs from a reliable on line nursery that sells primarily perennials. I thought the bulbs looked small, even for muscari.

I needed more from a 'bulbs only' company because the first supplier was out. The bulbs were much more expensive and twice as big.

Needless to say, the flowers from the larger bulbs are at least twice as big as the wimpy bulbs.

I'm going to deal with the first supplier. But is there any special care I can give to the first batch that might help them produce bigger flowers next year? They are so small that they certainly don't deliver the effect I wanted. I am so disappointed, but I learned my lesson.

Thank you,


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I imagine that with proper bulb planting and care that the smaller, cheaper bulbs that produced smaller blooms, will soon catch up to the more costly ones.

In my opinion, it sometimes takes a season for bulbs to settle in to your garden and soil after having been grown and harvested elsewhere. Some of my new ones, produced HUGE blooms, but I imagine that next year the blooms 'might not' be quite as big. On the other hand, those that were smaller bulbs, produced shorter and smaller blooms, and next year, they will be better settled in and their blooms will be more 'normal' sized.

I doubt if I would 'deal' with the first supplier because you really did get what you paid for. In the future, you might compare the bulb size if listed by the seller, before purchasing. I for one, don't mind if the bulbs are smaller, with smaller or fewer blooms the first season, so long as size is reflected in the price. Next spring, chances are that they will be bigger, and possibly even show quality blooms. I can wait for that, because of the price being 'right' for smaller bulbs.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 6:25AM
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Thanks,Sue. Point taken that I'm the one who said I got what I paid for.
I don't usually use this forum. Is there a consensus about feeding bulbs, namely muscari, after bloom is over? I mean I know there's never ever a consensus on GW, but what is the prevailing thought?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 8:50PM
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Nancy zone 6

My experience is that grape hyacinth are literally weeds. I'm sure you won't be able to tell the difference between the 2 purchases you made by next spring.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:40AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Fertilizing is best done at first sign of new growth.

After bloom the foliage & roots begin the dying off process. If other growing plants are in the area, they will benefit from fertilizer, if needed.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 9:26PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I gulped a bit when you mentioned that you'd bought a lot of Muscari bulbs. I'm guessing you wanted the 'ribbon of blue' effect.

If you want to bulk up Muscari bulbs it helps to plant into a free-draining soil that has been given a simple boost with well-rotted garden compost. It needs to get at least six hours a day of sun and moderate water over the growing time.

Plant the bulbs around three inches apart with about an inch over the top - and do this in late summer as that's when they start roots and foliage. There's no need to water luxuriantly unless you have prolonged dry spells (weeks with no rain).

A preplanting serving of general garden fertilizer - less rather than more - a handful to a square yard, and well mixed through the soil can be helpful if you haven't fed the area for a year or so. If you have - skip the food.

While they're dormant over summer - let them bake.

You can lift your bulbs and move to their designated area when they are dormant or even in growth. They're quite tough.

Just - beware of the spawn. They're as bad as Ixias and Oxalis for proliferating. :-((

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:29PM
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