Possible Paperwhite Disaster

diamondgirlie(Zone 6 Boston)December 8, 2009

I was given three paperwhite bulbs and a container full of coir as a gift from a friend. She got them at Target, and they had possibly already started sprouting (some of the partially-open packages had sprouts, she said).

She put them in the fridge for three weeks before she gave them to me.

When I took them out of the package and potted them, they had whitish shoots about an inch and a half long, no roots, and brown tips on the shoots. They have been potted for a week, and have not really done anything.

Are they doomed, bulb experts? Or are they secretly making roots or something?

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

If the bulbs weren't soft and mushy, my money's on the bulbs being alright. Give them some time.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:44PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Are they doomed, bulb experts? Or are they secretly making roots or something?
I'm no bulb expert, but will tell you what I think anyway.

Those bulbs were either prechilled, or else did not need to be chilled before planting.

She put them in the fridge for three weeks before she gave them to me.

When I took them out of the package and potted them, they had whitish shoots about an inch and a half long, no roots, and brown tips on the shoots.
That was probably not a good thing since it sounds like they had already broken dormancy and were growing, thus the white shoots.

They have been potted for a week, and have not really done anything.
Well , they have been confused by that additional time when they were refrigerated. My guess, is that they will in time root in and likely bloom for you. They may not bloom as well as they would have had they not gotten that additional refrigerator time. That is however just my 'optimistic' guess. Hopefully others who are more familiar with forcing bulbs will weigh in with some more input.

Sue

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:50PM
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diamondgirlie(Zone 6 Boston)

They definitely did not need pre-chilling. It said so right on the package. :( I would be satisfied with smaller blooms, as long as I can say to my friend; 'Look! You didn't kill them! It's all good!'

Donnabaskets, they are firm and healthy-looking, so hopefully you are right.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 6:25PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Personally, I would abandon the coir and use regular potting mix. Paperwhites usually have magnificent roots and quickly fill a container. Good drainage is important and in my experience coir tends to break down quite quickly.

If you did decide to replant then placing them so the present tip is just under the surface would be deep enough. Usually they start into root growth in late summer so they have a bit of catching up to do.

Damp mix but do not water until the sprouts are definitely green. Keep them in bright shade until they are green. And keep them cool until their buds are above the bud. (40-45F) Too much heat really shortens the flowering time.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 2:28AM
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diamondgirlie(Zone 6 Boston)

Okay, they are starting to green up a little bit. Yay! They have not expired. Perhaps they were embarrassed that I posted about them.

vetivert8 - they are by a northwest windowsill in a haphazardly-heating New England house, so they are cool, bright, and shaded.

Thanks, everyone! :D

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 6:50AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

HA HA HA HA!!

"Perhaps they were embarrassed that I posted about them."

Gotta say, diamondgirl, that was the first post that made laugh out loud, sitting her all by myself. Thanks. I have the flu and needed that laugh.

PS - how do you guys get italics for quoting someone????

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:52PM
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diamondgirlie(Zone 6 Boston)

Oh, no, Brit! I hope you feel better. I'm glad I cheered you up a tiny bit.

Little green paperwhite shoots are now popping up from all around the tops of the bulbs, and the original, brown-tipped shoots are about 4 inches tall. So I am very relieved.

I can't figure out the italics, either.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 12:53PM
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tugbrethil

Go to the "Name of the vanilla color hyacinth?" string in this forum (page 2, as of now) and follow the directions in chemocurl's post on Nov 13. To add to that, using a "u" instead of an "i" or a "b" will get you underlining, too.

Kevin : )

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 4:27PM
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