Is this true?

scully931(6)December 6, 2009

I have been buying bulbs on clearance (tulips and hyacinths). Some I planted and some I put in paper bags - all of them went into the refrigerator for forcing.

My plan is to enjoy them indoors this year, store them in the basement over summer and plant them next fall.

Now, I just read an article saying that forced bulbs are almost useless. Is that true??? Are they not going to ever bloom outside? Seemed like an odd statement to me.

Thanks for any advice on this! :-)

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

Now, I just read an article saying that forced bulbs are almost useless. Is that true??? Are they not going to ever bloom outside?
Most cultivars of tulips are not reliable perennial ones, so they might be a waste of time and effort.

Hyacinths may rebloom in your garden, but you likely won't have those wonderful full flowers they had initially. I find that though with any hyacinths. They never seem as full and nice as the first bloom season.

Here is a thread discussing subsequent flowering of hyacinths. Hyacinths and their flowerings

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 6:46PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I've never been one to throw out forced bulbs... even tulips get to die off normal, rest and get replanted in the fall. Give it a try. I like the way you think (all that fridge space for bulbs!) and I think you will have plenty of success.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 8:54PM
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scully931(6)

Ok, thanks for the info. Home Depot has their bulbs on clearance and I hate to think of them all just being thrown out!

No... no... I have enough.

No, I don't. I'm going to get more.

I don't have enough space.

Who needs milk and soda in their fridge. I'll give the bulbs a home! This is roughly the same theory I have on homeless animals too. (Minus the refrigeration part.)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 12:40AM
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gardengal48

It depends on the bulb and how it was forced. If forced in water and rocks, like paperwhites, some hyacinths and crocus, etc., yes, this process depletes the bulb and it is generally recommended these be tossed after blooming. If forced in a container of potting soil and the foliage allowed to ripen and dry naturally after flowering, this is very little difference to growing them in the ground and the bulbs can be reused. As noted, some bulbs - like tulips - will not respond as well to this process.

I would not recommend attempting re-forcing the same bulb multiple years however.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 10:55AM
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scully931(6)

Hm, that's interesting, gardengal. Thanks for the info.

I force all of mine in a pot and do allow the foliage to wither away to nothing. This spring will be the first year I have bubls coming up outside (hopefully) that have been through this process. Unfortunately, they are mostly tulips, which you said do not respond well.

Why do tulips not do well under these circumstances. I wonder how they know the difference? :-/

I have mostly tulips in the fridge this year, chilling. The ones I didn't already plant (they are in paperbags) -- should I maybe just put them in the ground in the spring???

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 1:04PM
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suecirish(6 SE MA)

Every year my mother buys me a pot of tulips for Easter and usually gives them to me early. So obviously they were forced. I always let them die off naturally and then plant the bulbs in the fall. I would say that I have had a good success rate with them coming back. I think the biggest problem with tulips is that, in general, they are not reliable returns, even if they are non-forced ground-planted right from the start. I always plant them and if they don't bloom, they'll just become compost - what's wrong with that? But then I have a VERY casual garden plan, and a bare spot somewhere doesn't really bother me too much.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 8:30PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

There are lots of threads on tulips and lots of conflicting information. You need to know the type/variety of tulip to predict its behavior. Packaged bulbs don't list this information.

What I learned from Brent and Becky Heath's article is some varieties of tulips will naturalize -- mainly the Darwins.

I have a pretty lavender double that put on a great show last spring after showing only foliage the previous year (bought 4 years ago). I guess those 'splits' had grown big enuf to flower! It is in soil that stays fairly dry during summer. I don't expect bloom this year.

I haven't had good luck with Triumph varieties repeating. I've stopped buying 'Apricot Beauty' for this reason. My favorite!

Good idea to put the name of your subject in that line - helps others doing a search.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 2:51AM
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scully931(6)

Yes, I never thought about the subject affecting the search engine.

Well, now that I think about it, that was a dumb thing not to think of. :-/

You're right, there is a lot of conflicting information. Well, I didn't pay too much for the bulbs. At the least, I'll enjoy them indoors this spring. Next year, I'll be sure to buy more reliable bulbs for outdoors: daffs, hyacinths and the tulips you mentioned. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:47PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

This is roughly the same theory I have on homeless animals too. (Minus the refrigeration part.)

What? No chilly kitties and defrosting dogs?

FWIWÂ I bought some forced (in soil) hyacinths a few Easters ago. Right after Easter, they went on sale, very cheap, even though they were barely in bud. They were in a small 4 pack with barely any soil, but I guess it was enough.

They have come back extremely well in the garden. I have looked at the same store since for forced pots, but they did not have anything but tulips.

I decided to try in myself this year, so have 2 pots of hyacinths potted in soil in the garage. These were purchased at HD on clearance. I hope it works. Since they were cheap, I figure it was worth trying. There was only one variety left, Lady Derby. After buying I google searched these and found a note on the Old Bulbs website about how to force. If I remember correctly it mentioned some specific cultivars that do better than others. I was lucky that Lady Derby was suggested as one. ItÂs worth reading the article.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 1:37PM
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scully931(6)

Yes, you are right about the certain varieties being easier to force. I found that most of what I bought at HD was on the list.

Actually, this is the first year I really researched it much. I never knew some would force better than others. Of course, I discovered all of this AFTER I had everything in the fridge. Oh, well. Worth a shot. :-) Next year I will plan accordingly.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:50PM
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