Forced Bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Clayton, IN
Question by MasnerII
February 3, 1998
I recently purchased a pot of forced tulips at the grocery store that produced beautiful blooms. Now the leaves are very pale and dying back. How should I care for the bulbs, and can they be placed outside in the ground this spring?


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Answer from NGA
February 3, 1998

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The bulbs that have been forced to bloom out of season are not very good candidates for keeping and planting in the garden. They probably won't recover from their ordeal, as they have given their all for one spectacular showing. It would be best to toss them out and wait until next fall to purchase new bulbs. You can force your own bulbs to bloom by planting them as soon as you purchase them and setting them in a cool, dark location such as a garage. It takes 6-8 weeks for root to form. When the bulbbegins to sprout, water it well and bring it indoors. It will grow and flower during the winter. After flowering, toss it out.

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