The Q&A Archives: How to identify flower bulbs

Question: I just dug up some bulbs that have pretty green foliage, but haven't flowered in several years. I assume that they were overcrowded. How can I find out what kind of bulb they are?

Answer: The best way to find out is replant them in well prepared soil and well drained soil in a sunny location, and wait and see, although it may take a year or two for them to bloom. You may be able to tell them apart in general categories such as tulip vs. daffodil by the foliage, or by the shape of the bulb. Here is a chart that includes some graphics of generic bulb types. (I have no idea about the nursery, but the chart is helpful.)

Also keep in mind that they will perform best if the foliage is allowed to grow and fully ripen before you remove it -- that ugly stage of drying foliage is how the bulb rebuilds its strength so it can bloom again. If you have been cutting the foliage too early this may be why they have not bloomed. Another cause is too little sunlight. And, crowding is yet another reason. Here are a few tips on bulb growing.

I hope this helps!

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