Ask a Question forum: Need lily bulb buying advice

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Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
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Aug 2, 2014 9:44 AM CST
A garden center is selling lily bulbs that they have had since spring,( $1.99 a bag). They have all of the showy asiatic and oriental types.

The shoots on the bulbs are wilted and the bulbs are wilted.

Should I spend my money on these plants that may rot in the ground????

Do you think they will grow and bloom next year???

Is there a way to rehydrate them?????

Any advice is appreciated.

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Aug 2, 2014 3:34 PM CST
Judy, being a fool for a bargain, I would gamble $2 on one, bring it home and plant it in a pot. If it's perked up by tomorrow, go get a whole bunch more.

If there are green shoots, that should mean they're alive. I wouldn't count on blooms this year, but you may be rewarded next spring.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Peter
(Zone 9a)
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Aug 2, 2014 3:45 PM CST

Hi Obliqua,

I think if it shoots without roots it is using the power in the bulb. At a minimum , if you have bought the soft bulb with wilted stem, I wouldn't let if flower if it recovers and would spray the leaves with seaweed. Then it may flower well next year.

Like Elaine above, I find it hard to pass on a bargain, and sometimes succumb. However experience tells me to pay a little more for top quality stock will be more rewarding.

I would give it a miss, on balance , and pay a couple of dollars more to buy great stock off recommended suppliers on this site.

I tip my hat to you. Peter
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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Aug 2, 2014 3:51 PM CST
Excellent advice. I, too, have had hit-or-miss results with the leftover bargain bags of bulbs.
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Aug 18, 2014 12:17 PM CST
I am late to this conversation but. 2.00 yes risk it. It is the way I have purchased most of my bulbs. I hit the stores late in the season just for those bargains. It is amazing the determination of the survival of bulbs. I put them in good soil after digging out the bad soil in the planting hole put some bulb booster in the hole and I have beautiful flowers the following summer.

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