Tulips & Daffodills Chilled in Refrigerator

Asked March 23, 2020, 4:44 PM EDT

I put a bag of tulips and a bag of daffodils in the refrigerator last fall that I didn't get planted. Can I plant them in large containers and set them outside now?

Stevens County Minnesota

1 Response

Thanks for the question.

I have been in this same situation a few times over the years. Thankfully you kept them in the refrigerator so they were exposed to chilling temperatures. Since the ground is most likely still frozen, you should move your bulbs to some type of container. Sometimes just a container containing water will suffice. This has the advantage of being able to see root development. Sometime in late May, you could transplant the bulbs into garden locations. It is probably unlikely that you will observe much blooming this year but, hopefully, you should observe foliage. If you fertilize the plants with foliage so that they have good vegetative growth this season, expect flowers to develop in spring 2021.

Here are some publications that should give you information of these and other points:

https://www.pennington.com/all-products/fertilizer/resources/forcing-beautiful-bulbs-for-your-indoor-garden

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/landscaping-and-hardscaping/how-to-force-bulbs-indoors

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/bulbs/forcing-spring-bulbs/

https://www.melindamyers.com/articles/what-to-do-with-unplanted-bulbs

http://www.bulbblog.com/bulbs-never-got-planted/

Good luck.