The Q&A Archives: Effect Of Freezing On Bulbs

Question: I bought some bulbs (several types...narcissus/daffodil, tiger lilly, bearded iris) in the fall and forgot to plant them. The sat in my unheated garage all winter. The temperature fell into the upper teens and twenties several times for extended periods. Did this kill the bulbs? How can I tell if they are still any good? What happens if I plant the bulbs this time of year (mid-February). The temp lately reaches upper 40s every day. Thank you for your response.

Answer: Happens to the best of us, looking for easter decorations....find a bag of bulbs we forgot to plant! The bulbs probably didn't have a chance to freeze solid in your garage so they are probably still "good", but for limited purposes. Planting them in the ground probably wouldn't do much good at all. Bulbs really need to go in the ground in the fall, have months of chilling, then gradually warm up in the spring to bloom. The bulbs probably wouldn't do anything at all if you plant them now. They might - but I doubt it. They may bloom NEXT spring, once again, it is questionable. If it were me, I would pot them up and bring them indoors for forcing. At least with that, you will enjoy the blooms and the bulbs won't have gone to waste. If you need any info on forcing, please do not hesitate to search our database, or, post another question.

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