The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Forced Bulbs

Question: Received forced bulbs in February and would like to transplant them into the flower bed. Need tips on if this is possible and what to do to insure they will bloom again next spring.

Answer: Your chances of success depend to some extent on what type of bulb you have and how they have been handled so far. The Paperwhites, for instance, are not cold hardy and so will not grow in the garden.

Often bulbs which have been forced are so weakened that they never do all that well in the garden, but it is always worth a try! The leaves need to grow and then wither naturally in order to replenish the bulb, so try to keep the leaves growing well in a cool bright spot until the weather moderates a bit and you can plant the bulbs outside. Condition them gradually to the outdoors, then plant them in a sunny spot with rich, well drained soil. Keep them watered as you would any new transplant. Allow the leaves to dry and wither before you remove them. Next spring, the plants should re-emerge, however it may take them another year before they have enough strength to bloom again.

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