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Beginner Flowers: How long can cured daffodil bulbs survive out of the ground?

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Forum: Beginner FlowersReplies: 2, Views: 29
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Columbia, MO

August 9, 2014
1:14 PM

Post #9913958

Recently found out I'm going to be moving from Missouri (Zone 6a) to Pennsylvania (also 6a but bordering on 5b). The timing for the move is up in the air. It will be no earlier than spring 2015 but possibly as late as fall 2015. Or it might end up happening that summer.

I'm trying to decide what is the best way to handle my daffodil bulbs. Normally I leave them in the ground all year, except for division when they get overcrowded (which I last did two years ago and doesn't need to be done again any time soon).

If I'm going to pull the bulbs, I need to do it ASAP, before it gets any later in the season. But I'm not sure they will survive if I end up not being able to plant them until fall 2015. Would it be less risky to leave them in the ground now, even if it means I might have to pot them up and move them in bloom if the relocation happens in spring 2015? Or would it be less risky to lift, cure, and store them now, even if it means they may be above ground for over a year?

If I knew for sure when I was going to move, it would make things a lot easier! But I don't, so I could really use some advice.
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 9, 2014
3:27 PM

Post #9914081

I would lift them and pack them in peat moss or other light weight material. Store them in as cool a location as you can. You might get them to live for a year that way. Just to be sure that some make it, though I would also select some and pot them up into whatever containers you can find, does not have to be fancy in the regular time for your area and grow them in pots for that year. When you get to the new place you can put pot and all in the ground for the rest of the season, then lift and divide when the growth dies down.
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 11, 2014
1:24 PM

Post #9915579

You don't say how many Bulbs your talking about so I'm going on the views that there may be many dozens.

The way I would go is:
If you can get your hands on those LARGE open plastic crates you see being delivered to the supermarket / Grocery Stores that contain cabbages, carrots ect, maybe you can collect some by asking the store IF they have any damaged ones. sometimes bakery Store have them too.

Line the bottom and sides of this type of container with newspapers, then add a layer of DAMP soil, lay some of your bulbs along the soil (dont have to be neat) lay another layer of soil (I WOULD USE STORE BOUGHT COMPOST MULTI PURPOSE) then another layer of bulbs, do any amount of layers you can BUT, leave enough room so the soil cant spill out over the top of the container.
The newspaper will help retain the soil AND help keep the soil moist.
IF you have several of these containers filled with bulbs, just leave them outdoors and water when required, at flowering time they will be able to flower and die back again as if they were in the ground as they are right now,
When it comes time to move to new garden, just STACK the containers for the journey and make sure the containers are fafely stacked and cant topple, you dont want the bulbs to be damaged after safe storage for maybe a year - eighteen months.
Soon as you can when reaching your new destination, re-plant the bulbs BUT check each bulb IF possible so there has been no diseases or mould set in as it will spread to all the bulbs eventually and thats the last thing you would want.

While I appreciate this is NOT the best growing conditions for any bulbs to be treated, never the less I think it's the best solution for a long term method for the bulbs to survive.
Had the bulbs only required storage for a few months during summer, keeping them in Paper parcels would have been fine, but your talking a who;le season OR longer and it's NOT a good idea to subject the bulbs to lifting, storing, then planting again due to delays in moving, then trying to lift and store yet again.
The larger containers should be able to store anything between 50-60 up t6o a hundred ????? bulbs per container and stored in a cool place till green shoots show, thats time to bring into the light outdoors, after foliage has died down, remove and place the bulbs back into the darker storage, it's a case of trying to MIMIC there growing cycle while in a smaller state of growing.

Hope this helps you decide the way to go giving you more breathing space for the move AND your bulbs.
Good Luck and Best Regards.

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