Planting Forced Bulbs- opinions needed

BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)March 31, 2013

Hi Garden Friends-
Went to Easter church today and picked up the flowers we ordered. I've always heard not to waste time planting these flowers as they were forced and probably only have one years bloom in them.
Collecting opinions anyway...
Should I bother to plant any of these?

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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Even when I plant nice big fat tulip bulbs that weren't forced in a garden- the second year I only get maybe 50% of the flowers I had the first year.
forcing I would think would cut that rate further.
but then again--if you have extra garden space and don't mind digging holes- what's the harm? Some tulips come back better than others (the early bloomers, it seems to me)

I think the hyacinth and daffodils may come back slightly more regularly.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:00AM
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sandyslopes z5 northern UT

I always plant my forced hyacinths into the yard when they're done. If you leave the green on, and let it die down naturally while getting rain or some water, those will come back. Maybe a little scrawnier next year, but I have some that come back year after year after being forced the first year. Some types are better than others, but they all come back. At least that's how it works in my garden. I've never replanted tulips or daffodils, but they're so pretty I would try.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I've planted forced hyacinths that have come back too.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:16AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its NBD ... though knowing where you are.. might help define such.. the flowers are not hardened off to sunlight nor temps.. they can not go out now ....

bulbs are planted in fall ...

it was always a family tradition to get mom flowers for easter and mother days.. THEY ALL WENT IN THE GARDEN ...

we enjoyed the flowers indoors ... and when they started looking ratty.. about the time they go dormant in late spring.. dad would chuck the pots outside.. on the north side of the house.. let them dry.. and harvest them like onions.. and hang them in the garage until october planting time ...

or once dormant.. just stick them in the ground.. and hope for the best ...

other times.. leaving them in the garage for a decade or two.. lol ...

the trick is.. to get rid of that potting media.. as its usually too spongy to 'mix' with garden soil ... and speaking of which ... bulbs dont like to be sodden.. and some media is easily over-watered.. so as flowers decline.. back off on water ...

once planted.. who knows what the success rate is/was,... we never kept that close a track on them.. but the yard had quite a few scattered around..

do get rid of the foil.. and it is defeating the drainage of the pot ...

what do you have to lose.. at worst.. just stick them int he ground.. when it warms enough.. in my MI... mid may????


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:38AM
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I always plant the daffodils, hyacinths and lilys in the garden. They come back every year. The tulips aren't as successful.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:44AM
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I force tulips and daffs every spring and I always plant them out later.

Put your pots out in a sheltered area once the flowers start to fade to harden them off. Keep the pots watered until the greenery starts to die back. It would not hurt to give them some fertilizer to help the bulbs grow big and fat. Once the greenery is pretty well gone, plant the bulbs outside. You will probably not get much in the way of flowers next spring, but after that they will be as big as any other bulb.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:51AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Oh- one last thing. If you don't live in a cold zone, with winter chill- the bulbs won't bloom again. (I think it is probably about zone 7 and lower which will rebloom).

Also- try to help them conserve energy in the bulb by not setting seed. When the petals are about to fall off the tulips, cut the flower off, so the seed pod doesn't swell.

When the daffodils and hyacinth start to look wilty, pop their heads off. Probably wouldn't hurt to fertilize a little.

This post was edited by lola-lemon on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 20:10

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:02PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Thanks so much, everyone! My favorite comments were the "what do you have to lose?" What a splendid way of looking at things.
I'm in 5a. I did put in my zone when I registered but somehow it's gone now. We have plenty of cold.
I'll report back with my result next spring.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:32PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


the only thing you have to lose.. is a little exercise.. outdoors .. and even that is not a bad thing ...

i am surprised that no one fessed up to finding stored bulbs in the garage.. a decade later.. lol

good luck


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 7:54AM
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If you're in z5, then the tulips are a no brainer.

1) tend & water them until they die back.
2) remove the bulbs from the pot
3) store in a paper bag (with sterile sawdust or peat if you wish), in a dark, dry place.
4) in late fall, plant them.

Most of them come up as well as any "properly" grown bulb.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:31PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

to add to the above great directions:

Plant them in fast draining soil and don't water them after the foliage dies back. you don't need to lift them after that unless you are wanting to divide them.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:58PM
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