The Q&A Archives: Transplanting bulbs

Question: Hi,
I live in the midwest. I have some bulbs (tulips and daffodils) that were just pulled from the ground after they were done flowering. I want to transplant them to my garden. They still have the stems on them. I believe I can plant them again in the fall... If so, what do I need to do to prevent them from rotting during the summer. Any special care between now and planting time? Thanks!

Answer: There may be a problem with the performance of the bulbs if they were removed from the ground before the leaves had a chance to ripen and turn brown. The leaves manufacture and transport energy to the bulbs through the process of photosynthesis. If the bulbs are dug or if the leaves are removed before they have a chance to replenish the bulbs stored energy, the bulbs will not flower the following spring. The best thing to do is plant them in the ground and hope the leaves will be able to transport energy to the bulbs. Failing that, you'll be taking a chance with the bulbs but you can simply lay them out in a shady place to dry, then remove the roots and the dead leaves and store the bulbs in a cool, dark place until this fall. Plant them in the ground in the fall and cross your fingers! I hope the bulbs perform well for you!

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