cooling period or no cooling period - Knowledgebase Question

Montclair, Ca
Question by lisguevara
August 25, 2010
The foliage on my muscari, lilies, daffodils, and Dutch Irises is long gone. The bulbs are still in the pots. Do I leave them there for next year or do they need a cooling period? The packages in which they came say no need to dig them up but I'm afraid my zone might not get cold enough in winter if the bulbs need a cold period. Can you please give me directions for each one? Thank you.


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Answer from NGA
August 25, 2010

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You are correct - your bulbs will need a period of chilling in order to produce for you next spring. In September you'll need to take the bulbs out of the pots, brush off the potting soil, place the bulbs in a paper bag and store them in your refrigerator. Your bulbs will need 14-16 weeks of cold treatment before they can be planted out in your garden. About mid-December plant them back in the pots or out in the garden. They will grow roots and then flower right on schedule in the spring. Enjoy!

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