I was given some forced daffodils and hyacinth bulbs and was wondering, now that they have finished blooming if they can be planted back into the garden or should I throw them out. Will they re-bloom?
Thank you for calling the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.
There is nothing more pleasing during the bleak cold months of February as the sight of brilliant yellow daffodils and the powerful fragrance and colour of hyacinths.
Bulbs that have been forced indoors require a lot of energy on the part of the bulb and as a result you may not see blooms for the first 2-3 years once planted back into the garden. However, there are a few things that one can do to increase the odds of the plants re-blooming after 1 year. The key is to keep the plant actively growing until the leaves mature and die back naturally. The better conditions you give daffodils the more energy they will be able to produce for growing a large, strong bulb.
Deadhead any spent blooms, this will prevent any energy from being put into seed production. Place the potted plant into a cool sunny place and keep the soil moist to the touch. The longer the leaves stay green and healthy, the larger the bulb will become and thus increases the chances of blooming the following year.
When the leaves dry up and die off, dig up the bulbs and store them in a paper bag in a cool, dark place until fall. If you do not have a cool dry place it would be better to plant the bulbs outdoors in the spring as soon as the ground is workable.
Care for the bulbs outdoors as you would any spring blooming bulb.