Bulbs forum: When to transfer narcissus?

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Coastal TX (Sunset 28/31) (Zone 9a)
JuniperAnn
Dec 23, 2017 4:04 PM CST
Impatiently, I bought some narcissus bulbs this fall, before the bed I was preparing for them was ready (it should be ready in April). The bulbs in question are tazetta hybrids, so I'm hoping for them ultimately to naturalize. I planted them in 3-gallon containers and am looking forward to them blooming.

...and then what? When do I transfer them to their final destination? In April, regardless of what they're up to? After they bloom? After they go dormant? Do I wait until next fall?

Thanks for the help!
Sweden
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William
Dec 27, 2017 5:39 AM CST
Once they have rooted properly in the pot, you basically can plant them out whenever you feel like.

However If you planted them densely in the pot, then I would wait until they go dormant and divide them then. Ideally you want to divide them before they start to grow a new root system. In your area it might take much longer for them to start doing this, but here the dormancy period can be very short. In fact they often start to grow new roots even before the old foliage have gone completely yellow. We have much colder and wetter summers here which would trigger growth sooner, so I assume you would have a much longer window of opportunity, but still it can be good to be aware of this.

Coastal TX (Sunset 28/31) (Zone 9a)
JuniperAnn
Dec 27, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Thanks, William! I will take your advice. I have a few different varieties, so I'll wait till dormancy to transfer my favorites, and let the less-favorite varieties take their chances as soon as the bed is ready. Gotta free up those pots for waiting seedlings! Of course, I tend to get attached to plants too easily, so I'll probably just have to buy new pots again! ;)
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Jan 6, 2018 1:17 PM CST
@JuniperAnn A lot of people (including growers) move them while in the green.I am planning to use that method this spring. When you do it this way, you wait until they are through blooming & then dig. However if they are in pots, I think you could plant out any time even while in bloom
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
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IrisLilli
Jan 14, 2018 9:11 AM CST
I'll have to move all my bulbs to our new garden this spring, so happy to know moving my Narcissus in the green wil not kill them. I have moved other (smaller) bulbs in the green before with good results, but wonder if my tulips will survive. Crossing Fingers!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Jan 14, 2018 4:02 PM CST
@IrisLilli If your tulips return every year then I think they would be fine as well. They are not perennial where I live in the US in zone 8b.
Sweden
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Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Jan 14, 2018 6:24 PM CST
Lilli, I share your assessment that tulips might prove very difficult to move in April, but I hope you succeed. Crossing Fingers!
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Jan 15, 2018 3:55 AM CST
Thank You! I really have no choice. I'm sure the old Apeldoorn tulips will survive, but not optimistic about the rest. Fortunately, most of them are common cultivars that can be replaced.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!

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