Bulbs Burned Out? How to Ensure They Thrive Again!
Posted: Sep 30 2014
Are you wondering why your bulbs aren't producing the flowers that they once did? Do your daffodils cease to dazzle the way they did back in the day? Everyone knows that Fall is the time to plant new bulbs, but what about those old "burned out" bulbs that you planted years ago? Did you know that there is still life under the soon-to-be-frozen ground? Fall is also the time to "dig" into the issue -- literally.
The beauty of perennials is that they're relatively labour-free compared to annuals. However, if you completely ignore your bulbs for years, their overall health will suffer. After a number of years in the garden, some daffodils and other bulbs produce offsets -- baby bulbs bulbs -- that cluster around the base of the parent bulb. Crowded foliage and diminished flowering are signs that the bulb clumps need to be divided. After the leaves die back, dig up the bulbs and carefully separate the offsets from the parents without breaking the roots. Pay special attention to the parent bulb. It can be replanted if it looks healthy; but, if it's looking dry and shriveled, it's run its course and needs to be discarded. Replant the bulbs immediately, or store in a cool, dry place until next Fall when it's bulb-planting time. Or, if you're feeling generous, give bulbs to your neighbours and friends as gifts and you'll be the most popular gardener around! When it's time to put the bulbs in the ground, plant the offsets twice as deep as their height; don't plant them as deep as mature bulbs. Small offsets will take a few years to reach blooming size.
That was a whirlwind of information, but here's hoping your garden is full of healthy flora next year as a result of your diligent autumn efforts!