Saving daffodil and tulip bulbs.


Last winter I planted daffodil and tulip bulbs in pots and overwintered them in my shed. This spring they bloomed nicely. I’ve removed the spent bulbs with foliage attached from the pots. Now what should I do, please?


May 14 2021

Usually, the response to such a question is, Toss them on the compost heap. The reason given is that forcing bulbs takes a great deal of energy from the bulb to feed the plant. Hoping for a chance to plant the bulb and see quality bloom the second year may be a slim dream. But Iowa State University Extension Department offers hope with the following:

“Tulips, hyacinths, and most other spring-flowering bulbs that have been forced indoors are usually discarded after flowering.  Most won’t bloom again when planted outdoors.  Daffodils are an exception.  Daffodils are more vigorous than tulips and most other spring-flowering bulbs.  Forced daffodils can be saved and successfully planted outdoors.

The care after flowering is important if attempting to save forced bulbs.  After blooming, remove the spent flowers and place the plants in a sunny window.  Water regularly until the foliage begins to yellow.  At this point, gradually cut back on watering until the foliage withers and dies.  Carefully remove the bulbs from the potting soil, allow them to dry for 1 or 2 weeks, then store the bulbs in a cool, dry location.  Plant the bulbs in fall.”

That was the only source found to offer you this opportunity to prove the usual response wrong. It has worked.