The Q&A Archives: Donated tulips, can I replant now in May and how?

Question: Hi,
The company that landscapes the building were I work remove hundred of tulips in order to plant some summer flowers. They send an email giving the bulbs away (the had the roots and stalk, no flowers). I took several of them with no idea if these are still worth. Can I plant them? If so is this time ok (May),do I save these or what? I really have no clue...please help!
Jessica Serrano

Answer: Since the bulbs have roots and leaves, I'd plant them right away and water them in well. The results will be iffy, but worth the trouble, I think. Bulbs store energy over the winter months to use when spring arrives. At that time they use the stored energy to produce leaves and a flower. After the flower dies, cut the stalk down but leave the foliage alone. It will manufacture energy and transport it back to the bulb for storage, to be used the following spring. Digging the bulbs now may have interrupted that process, but putting the bulbs back into the garden ASAP may very well allow the remaining leaves to do their jobs. Hope the bulbs grow and bloom for you next spring!

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