Return to the Bulbs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

Posted by dysphorea Ontario (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 26, 11 at 19:48

I realise this question has already been asked but I'm not completely clear on what to do. I've read a bit online but some of it is contradictory. I have quite a few hyacinth bulbs I forgot to plant last Fall. They're now starting to sprout. I live in Canada (Ontario- hour north of Toronto). So it's very cold here right now and the ground is completely frozen, and there's several feet of snow as well as ice. I have a big backyard, not in an apartment or anything, so I can plant them out there as soon as it gets warmer. But I'm not sure what to do in the meantime. I've read about putting them in the fridge, or just planting them in a pot. What would the best route be?
Thank you for any help :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

I hope you didn't buy zillions!
Potting up is probably sensible at this point. 3-4 to a six inch pot.

The green leaf tips are showing? Let them be in partial light and keep them at around 7-10C. You have to keep them cool until the flower bud is completely clear of the bulb and the foliage.

No buds because the bulbs are small? Wait until the foliage is further along (say 4-6") before bringing into more light and warmth. Remember to turn the the container at least a quarter, at least once a week so the plants grow up straight, no flopping or yellowing.

Keep your potting mix just moist until flowering starts then - they can be in more heat - 16-18C, prefer a dry, airy atmosphere (don't spray), water two-three times a week depending on warmth and how quickly the plants are using water. And feed them with houseplant food weekly once the buds have formed. STOP while they're actually flowering.

After the flower is done - cut off the stem down to the bulb. Leave the leaves to finish naturally. You may be able to put outdoors by then but harden them off if the weather is not friendly. (Out for nice days and in for late frosts/snows)

When the foliage has died down, plant them out where you intended and mark the spot so you avoid having bulb kebabs or slices.

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

Thank you so much for the response vetivert!

So I'm a complete amateur and I'm not entirely sure what you mean by bud. The part of the flower? There's just a little bit of green poking out of the bulbs. Not even an inch. So I wait? I could take a picture if that'd help.

I'd jussst like the clarify- what sort of pot, will any one do? And I need potting soil, houseplant food, and that's all?

thanks for all the help :)

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

Dysphoria, do the bulbs have roots.
The reason why we plant spring flowering bulbs in the fall is because the soil temperature at that time is right for encouraging bulbs to acquire roots.
They do this at this time so they can go into winter with roots. Once a bulb has roots, it can take whatever winter throws at it. Its really a magical occurrence...the bulb acquires a steel cage around the tissue and protects it from freezing temperatures. Without roots, it is at the mercy of the environment and without roots once the soil temperature rises to 50 plus F...10 Celsius...the bulb will start to rot. It has to...its like anything else that is put into the ground --it deteriorates..because it doesn't have roots.
Sad facts....but that's the truth....its why bulbs are bought and planted IN THE FALL.

Late spring and early summer bloomers might form some roots in the interim..planted late in the fall. But spring flowering bulbs are not supposed to be planted in freezing ground.
In the spring, dig up one or two, examin them....if they have roots, put them back into the ground and pray.
If not, they will no doubt be mushy and with that, throw them onto the compost pile where at least, they'll do some good.

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

Goren has given a very good explanation of the difference between a bulb with roots and one without. So many perfectly good bulbs rot every year form being planted in cold wet ground without roots. I am sure a lot of those who complain about being sold bad bulbs can trace their losses to this fact. Al

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

The previous postings on what to do with forgotten bulbs that are now sprouting were very helpful. My question is a variation on that theme. I have some sprouting hyacinth and daffodil bulbs. I live in zone 5. It is warm here now, but the last freeze isn't until mid April. Can I plant the bulbs now?

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

I didn't forget to plant but just bought 2 bags of bulbs on sale from Home Depot. They are budding about .5". The weather here has been around freezing in the morning but warms to around 40-50 during the day. Should I plant or keep them in a planter in an unheated sunroom on the back of my house?

Thanking you in advance.

RE: forgot to plant bulbs- now they're sprouting- what can I do?

mom of 2 labs, which kind of bulbs?

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Bulbs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here