old bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Pittsburgh, Pe
Question by maaestros
May 26, 2010
I have a bag of bulbs in the garage. Are they still viable? If so, should I plant them now or in the fall?


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Answer from NGA
May 26, 2010

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You may have already missed the opportunity for planting your bulbs. Spring flowering bulbs are planted in the fall because they require 12-16 weeks of cold weather in which to develop roots. Once the roots develop the bulbs flower and develop foliage. The foliage should be allowed to ripen and die down naturally because it is busy manufacturing and transporting energy back to the bulb for the following year's floral display. If you plant your bulbs now they will sprout but not develop roots. When the bulbs run out of energy growth will stop and the bulbs will die. Without roots they cannot take up water and nutrients. I'd toss the old bulbs and purchase fresh new bulbs this fall - then get them into the ground as soon after purchase as possible. Wish I had better news for you about your old bulbs!

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