The Q&A Archives: Narcissus Bulbs

Question: I have found a deal on narcissus bulbs. Ten cents each. I bought 10 but wondering if I should get more. They told me at the salvage store that they won't come up til next spring. But am I safe buying 50 or so for a huge spring burst of color and frangance?

Answer: I think investing in the original 10 is enough of a chance at this time. Bulbs are full of stored energy and narcissus bulbs should be planted in the garden in the fall months. They need a winter chill to develop roots and then in the spring they grow leaves and a flowering stem, using the stored energy from the bulb. The leaves then manufacture and transport energy back into the bulb for the following year's growth. Your bulbs did not get to develop leaves this past spring (although they might if you plant them in the ground now). Without leaves to manufacture and transport energy back into the bulb, they won't sprout for you next spring. You can experiment with the ones you've already purchased but if you want a truly beautiful display next spring, wait until the fall months when fresh bulbs are available at the garden center and plant them in your garden in the fall. The following spring you will have a gorgeous display.

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