Ask a Question forum: size of bulbs

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MA
pneumo
Jan 13, 2018 11:09 AM CST
Why do all my flowerbulbs e.g tulips, dafodils, amyrillis , shrink so much after a year in the garden?
How can I acheive Big bulbs?
[Last edited by rhillberg - Jan 13, 2018 11:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 13, 2018 11:30 AM CST
Are you feeding them? Are you cutting back the greenery instead of letting it die naturally? How do you know what the daffodil and tulip bulbs are doing? They should be completely buried. I'm having a hard time putting tulips and daffodils and Amaryllis in the same sentence. You have amaryllis planted in your yard in Massachusetts?
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Jan 13, 2018 12:38 PM CST
Some varied care among the three you named.
Along with Daisy's suggestions:
Tulips typically do dwindle in home gardens. Old fashioned plain red is a good bet for long life though.
Daffodils usually multiply and persist for many years with no special care. They tend to get more leafy and less bloom per bunch, unless you dig and thin.
Amaryllis are HEAVY feeders, so if summering them in the garden, feed and water well. and full sun.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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MA
pneumo
Jan 14, 2018 9:21 AM CST
Daisyl and sallyg

Thanks for your kind responses.
To clarify: I live in zone 5 (MA). My amarylis are grown on pots and go out to a sunny location after last frost.I fertilize them with Osmocote 2 or 3 times a season. I'm always urprised how much smaller the bulbs are when they go inter winter storage.

Re tulips and daffodils; I give them a heavy dose of 10-10-10 when the first show signs of spring growth. One dose only. In mid summer some of the bulbs are inadvertently dug up when I'm planting something else. Again I'm surprisd at how small they have become.

I guess more fertilizer is necessary.
thanks again for your help.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Jan 14, 2018 9:53 AM CST
It seems like you give them all good care, good enough to me.
Do the amaryllis bloom again? I've read five leaves should be enough for bloom. If not, maybe they do need more fert and water, or a bigger area to grow more feeder roots and soak up more water and fertilizer. I took mine out of pots and planted them. One got much bigger, a couple others didn't grow much. I am bad at adding fertilizer, but try to improve my soil. I once saw a whole plot , 20 feet by 20 feet, of them planted in ground, in full sun, at the local 'shared' garden. I have to think that person knew something.

If daffodils are blooming, then there are some bulbs staying big enough. If you turn up small side bulbs, you can toss them, or plant elsewhere , more spread out, to try and grow them bigger.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 14, 2018 4:22 PM CST
Read up on each type. Some need to be lifted after die back, dried, and then stored to prevent rotting of bulbs over summer. Some need to be divided, and, Etc, Etc. for each.

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