The Q&A Archives: Forced Bulbs - reusable?

Question: Can a forced bulb be reused such as an amarillys or any other bulb? If so when should they be replanted, immediately outside or let dry for the next season?

Answer: Amaryllis are not winter hardy so you would need to keep them as a container plant. Treat it like a houseplant, water and fertilize regularly to keep the leaves growing vigorously. Next fall, stop watering and place it in a dark closet or other dark location where temperatures are about 50 to 60 degrees and let it rest for eight to ten weeks. Then bring it back into the light and water lightly. It should start to grow again. If it has grown enough leaves during the summer, it will rebloom for you.

Paperwhites are a special kind of daffodil that will not survive winter outdoors and can't be reforced inside so they are discarded after blooming.

Other spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, crocus or daffodils can be planted in the garden now and may bloom in two years. It is better to plant them now than try to keep them in a container or store until fall.

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