Daffodils & mini roses in early spring

Asked March 26, 2020, 11:28 AM EDT

I’m writing in hopes you can give me some advice. In late February, we moved a lilac bush from our back to our front yard. In the front, there were some daffodils in the way, so we thinned & moved them. They already had green shoots. Then the frosts came. Unfortunately, I think I planted them too shallowly (1.5-2”) and now they look like this. What should I do?

Also, my husband bought me a mini rose bush for Valentine’s Day. Is it safe to plant it outside now? What kind of conditions does it like?

Kent County Michigan

3 Responses

Daffodil bulbs should be planted 1-½ to 5 times their own depth. Where winters are severe, make sure there are at least 3 inches of soil covering the bulb. Daffodils will tolerate some crowding, but they prefer to be spaced about 3 to 6 inches apart. It may help to sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer in the hole during planting.

As for transplanting daffodil bulbs in February, they should be dormant before attempting to successfully transplanting them. The fact that foliage had already appeared says your bulbs were not dormant. As a result, you may have few or no blooms this year; however if you fertilizer them this spring to encourge regrowth of the foliage, they may survive and bloom next year. They are pretty hardy.

Daffodil foliage emerged early this year due to our mild winter. Transplanting them when actively growing is a risk, but one worth taking if they had to be moved. The information in the link below will give you additional information.

Related to your daffodil question, Spring is the best time to transplant Lilacs. Transplant them after the blooming period, and before hot summer weather arrives. It is also important to note that transplanting can affect the next spring bloom.

It is much to early to transplant your miniature rose outdoors. Early-to-mid-May is appropriate, or until all danger of frost is past. In May, the miniature rose can be placed outside. Harden or acclimate the plant to outdoor conditions by initially placing the plant in a shady location. Then gradually expose it to longer periods of sunlight. After the miniature rose has been acclimated outdoors for several days, place the potted plant on a sunny patio or deck. The miniature rose can also be planted outdoors in the garden. While miniature roses are small, they’re actually more cold hardy than hybrid tea roses. Select a sunny site with fertile, well-drained soil.

While your rose is indoors, follow these instructions:

Miniature roses need direct sun. Place the miniature rose in a south or west facing window. Rotate plants once or twice a week to promote even growth.They also require a consistent moisture supply. When the soil surface becomes dry to the touch, water the plant until water flows out the bottom of the container. Discard the excess water. Fertilize the miniature rose (once or twice a month) with a dilute fertilizer solution.

Miniature roses prefer daytime temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum nighttime temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the plant away from cold drafts or heat sources.

To promote new growth and additional blooms, remove flowers as they fade. Cut off the stem just above the uppermost five-leaflet leaf. Also, remove any yellow leaves or dead growth.

Finally, periodically inspect the miniature rose for pests. Roses often have problems with spider mites when grown indoors. Discolored leaves and fine webbing are signs that spider mites may be present. Control spider mites by spraying plants with insecticidal soap. Several applications may be necessary to completely control spider mites.

Thank you! Our lilac bush is starting to grow lovely green leaves, and yesterday, I cut the green growth off the daffodil bulbs and planted them much deeper. Here's hoping they will sprout again this year or next.