The Q&A Archives: Moldy crocuses

Question: The crocuses that I'm forcing indoors keep getting moldy. I placed them in my kitchen in a vase so that only the roots are touching the water. But they're slow to form roots and flowers. What am I doing wrong? Karen Robinson East Meadow, NY

Answer: Mold forms when you grow crocuses in too warm and too humid an environment, says Andy Lagendyk, horticulturist at Van Bourgondien Brothers, specialists in spring-flowering bulbs in Babylon, New York. But it's quite possible to force crocuses in a vase of water without mold forming, he notes. Select large blue-flowered or striped varieties that are easy to force, such as 'Flower Record' or 'Pickwick', says Lagendyk. Place the unplanted bulbs in the refrigerator for eight weeks to prechill. After chilling, place them in the vase of water so the newly emerging roots are just touching the water. Place the vase in a cool (50 F), dark place until the shoots are one inch tall. Then move the vase to a bright window. To prevent mold, before youput the bulbs in the vase, wipe them with a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a moistened paper towel. Repeat the cleaning about three weeks later or whenever you see any mold forming, says Lagendyk. Keep the bulb roots touching the water, and they should flower in a few weeks.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"