The Q&A Archives: Bulbs Left In Garage Over Winter

Question: I have some crocus, muscari, puschkinia, allium and dwarf iris bulbs that didn't get planted and have been in the cold, mostly dark garage over the winter. All but the allium seem to have sprouts. Will I still be able to enjoy flowers from them this year? I am new at gardening and need all the help I can get!

Answer: Since the alternative would be to throw them away, you might try planting them. Unfortunately, it is very stresful on bulbs to sit out of the ground longer than necessary. You might still be able to plant them and have them survive, but it is not certain they will bloom for you this year. Bulbs have specific chilling and rooting requirements and if they are not met, their performance suffers. If they survive, they may take another year to recover and bloom as they should. If you plant them, make sure to allow plenty of time for their foliage to grow and ripen fully before cutting. This rebuilds the bulbs' strength so they can bloom the following year.

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