Don’t throw out those dead daffodils!

20130409-141812.jpgDon’t throw out those dead daffodils! Or tulips for that matter. Did you receive potted tulips, daffodils, hyacinths or lilies for Easter and now the blooms have faded or dropped and the foliage is looking a little worse for wear? It seems such a shame to just throw them out when you can plant them outside and chances are, they’ll pop back up next Spring to give you a nice surprise.
Bulb planting time is usually in the Fall, but whenever I dry my potted bulbs to save them for Fall planting I usually forget and they lie around for years, unplanted, and finally die, so now I just plant them as soon as they look a bit dead. If there’s still quite a bit of green leaves left they will likely establish themselves in your garden or an outdoor planter quite well. Eventually the leaves will go yellow and die off, so just cut them back to the soil and wait and see what happens. I have had great success with daffodils, hyacinths and asiatic lilies but tulips are hit and miss. I don’t know if it’s because they freeze and die or if the squirrels dig them up to eat in the winter, but I suspect the latter. If you are planting them in an outdoor planter, mix in some pansies, ranunculus or other Spring flowering plants. They will keep blooming for a long time, if not all Summer, and after you have cut back the foliage from the bulbs you planted, the other plants will have room to grow and fill in the rest of your pot.

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Surprise! Look what popped up in my outdoor planter – daffodils!

 

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If you have sorry looking potted bulbs leftover from Easter, just plant them outside

 

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buy some ranunculus or other flower that’s growing outdoors at garden centres in early Spring

 

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pansies are very frost tolerant, should the weather turn cold suddenly

 

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leave any green leaves on the potted bulbs, shake off any excess soil and plant a few inches deeper than any other plants you are planting

 

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leave the foliage on while you’re planting as it’s easier to handle them

 

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then just cut the dead leaves and flowers off at the soil level

 

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fill in the rest of the pot with sunny ranunculus and happy pansies

 

 

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don’t forget to water the pot very well

 

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and please recycle all your used pots. (As of April 1, Halton region takes plant pots – finally!)

 

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