bulbs not blooming - Knowledgebase Question

Whittier, Ca
Question by nitahenrilee
March 15, 2010
My bulbs did not flower this year. Should I dig them up and if so do I dry them out till next year or do I throw them away and start over next year?

Answer from NGA
March 15, 2010


Bulbs can fail to bloom if they are overcrowded or if the foliage was removed before it had a chance to ripen the year before. In Southern California, certain bulbs can fail to bloom if they do not get their required winter chill. If you've had the bulbs planted in the same place for 3-4 years and they have bloomed in prior years but not this year, you can dig and divide them to give them more space. Wait until the foliage dies back on its own, then dig and divide. If the bulbs have never bloomed, it could be that they need to experience a period of chilling. If this is the case, dig them out after the foliage dies back and store them in a cool place over the summer months. In September place them in your refrigerator and then plant them in the ground in December or January. They should bloom right on time for you. As with all bulbs, allow the foliage to die back on its own each year. The leaves manufacture carbohydrates which are transported back to the bulb for blooming the following year. Hope this addresses all the potential causes. Best wishes with your bulbs.

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