Bulbs forum: Starting cold sensitive bulb/tuber indoors

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Mar 24, 2015 8:03 PM CST
I have amaryllis,dahlia, and voodoo Lily bulb/tuber stored in my basement, with no growth. Come spring when frost has passed do I just pot them up, water, and put outside or must they be stored by a sunny window until growth begins then plant and pot outside? I heard that planting with no growth and watering could rot them but I don't know if it's true.
central Illinois
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jmorth
Mar 24, 2015 10:35 PM CST
I usually re-pot tender/tropical bulbs in May, give it a drink, and pretty much wait for emerging growth before starting regular watering schedule; by then it's certainly warm enough to set pot outside (w/ about 50 others), monitor, and water when necessary. I'm on the Z5 Z6 borderline. I grow Gloriosas, dahlias, Pineapple Lilies, Hymenocallis, Blood Lilies, Lily lilies, Rain Lilies, Tuberose, and other assorted bulbs in containers to allow freedom of placement and then to overwinter in basement w/ ease.

Oft time the bulb or tuber in question will manifest itself when ready to initiate growth for a new season.

You are right to be wary of too much water and no growth for rot conditions might prevail. Bulbs in containers definitely need super drainage, pack some hard Styrofoam pellets/popcorn or rocks in bottom of pots. A little sand in the soil mix doesn't hurt either as it enhances drainage. The premium soil mixes are usually formulated to avoid soil compaction and are conductive to container success, but I still use those pellets (lessens overall weight and facilitates drainage more)..
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
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gemini_sage
Mar 25, 2015 4:14 AM CST
Keith, will you be growing these in pots or in the ground over the summer? I don't grow Voodoo lily, but I do grow the others. I keep Amaryllis in pots, and store them dry during dormancy. They typically wake on their own and show signs of growth, and that's when I start watering. I grow Dahlias in the ground, and plant them any time from mid April to mid May depending on the weather that particular year. The eyes are typically swelling when they go into the ground. They grow fast once planted, so I don't try to start them early.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 25, 2015 9:22 AM CST
gemini_sage said:Keith, will you be growing these in pots or in the ground over the summer? I don't grow Voodoo lily, but I do grow the others. I keep Amaryllis in pots, and store them dry during dormancy. They typically wake on their own and show signs of growth, and that's when I start watering. I grow Dahlias in the ground, and plant them any time from mid April to mid May depending on the weather that particular year. The eyes are typically swelling when they go into the ground. They grow fast once planted, so I don't try to start them early.


I will be growing them in pots. In my basement they are hidden in a bag in complete darkness and its in the 50s down there until it's around 70 outside which it isn't so I don't think the bulbs know what season it is yet but fingers crossed it warms up soon!

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