Bulbs That Multiply - Knowledgebase Question

Mt. Pleasant, IA
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Question by RoomsRus
October 9, 1998
Do crocus, tulip, and narcissis bulbs multiply like glads?


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Answer from NGA
October 9, 1998
Crocus grow from corms (like gladiolus), and multiply in the same manner. They will become overcrowded in 3-4 years and should be dug and divided. Narcissus bulbs produce small bulblets (sometimes called offsets) from the mother bulb. If given plenty of room, and left alone, narcissus will naturalize into a sweeping drift of color after a few years. Tulips produce offset bulbs, as well, and these will eventually grow to flowering size. When you dig tulip bulbs after the foliage dies down, you can separate the little bulblets from the parent bulb prior to storage. When you plant the new little bulblets, don't plant too deeply, or they'll run out of energy before the foliage reaches daylight. After a few years of growing the offsets will be mature enough to produce flowers.

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