The Q&A Archives: Forced Bulbs Sprouted Early

Question: I potted some tulips and daffodils for forcing, watering well and putting each pot into a black plastic bag. They were stored for 14 weeks under the stairs in the garage with insulation around the pots. When I brought them into the house today, I saw that they had sprouted and some have fairly long anemic-looking foilage. There are also some fine roots sticking up out of the soil. Should the foilage be cut off or left alone? And what went wrong for this to occur?

Answer: Usually, it is a good idea to check the bulbs periodically so that you can bring them into a cool bright location once roots are showing throught the holes in the bottom of the pots and the tips of the foliage have begun to show, indicating that they are ready to grow. I think you may have left them there too long or that it is a bit warm for them in that location. The foliage should green up once it is in the light, althoug you may want to shade it a bit for the first few days so it doesn't sun burn. The foliage on forced bulbs tends to flop, especially if they are growing in less than optimum light. I would leave the foliage in place.

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