The Q&A Archives: Forcing Bulblet production

Question: I read in your question section that there is no way to increase bulblet production. Can t some bulbs be forced to increase bulblet production by scooping off the basal plate and scooping out some of the bulb? How is this done?

Answer: Thanks for pointing this out! It's true that take a long while to produce bulblets (such as hyacinths and fritillarias) can be forced into increased production. One method is scoring, which involves making 2-3 cuts across the base of the bulb, and removing small slices of tissue. Scooping sounds like it takes more finesse. Cut off the entire basal plate including just the extreme ends of each bulb scale. Use only dormant bulbs (late summer-early autumn). Once cut, place the bulbs cut side up in a flat of moist sand, and within a couple of months, you should see bulblets emerging, ready for harvest. You may want to dust the cut surfaces with mold-inhibiting fungicide such as sulfur.

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