The Q&A Archives: Old bulbs - Can they be planted? Will they still grow?

Question: I have a number of old packages of bulbs (tulips, etc.) that I never planted. Can they still be planted? Some are MANY years old.

Answer: The chances of your old bulbs sprouting come spring are not something you should count on. Bulbs store energy for growth but if the bulbs are not planted in the ground that energy is depleted as the bulb attempts to keep itself alive. I doubt, after several years of storage, that the bulbs will perform well in your garden and I think you will be disappointed. Bulbs are relatively inexpensive and fresh new bulbs should be available at your garden center within the next few weeks. I'd recommend purchasing new bulbs and immediately planting them in the ground.

Best wishes with your new bulbs!

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