Forum home Plants

Bulbs - plant or store?

I have just (24 January) received a large number of hyacinth bulbs and half a dozen Nerines - Nerine bowdenii, Guernsey Lily the packet says.  I understand that these are best planted in Autumn for flowering in Spring.

I plan to put them in tubs of bulb compost as my garden soil is basically a thin layer of compost over impenetrable clay, dig a few inches and you could make pots with what you find, so unsurprisingly bigger bulbs just rot away.  Anyway, it's frozen pretty solid right now...

So my question is, is it better to keep the new bulbs in a cool dry place until the coming Autumn, or should I plant them in their tubs now?  If stored, should they be in a sealed container, or allowed to breathe? Location, Surrey/Sussex border near Gatwick.

Thanks

Michael

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    No - plant the hyacinths. You won't be able to successfully store them, and they also won't benefit from growing, which feeds the bulbs for future years. Pots are fine for them, and any compost will do  :)
    I'm not sure how well Nerines will do though, they're a bit different in their requirements from other bulbs, mainly because they're exposed rather than being deeply planted. I don't grow those, but others do.
    I'm very surprised that you're receiving those now though. A reputable supplier wouldn't be sending them now.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027
    Normally, I would plant Nerines in Spring, so I would just wait a few weeks, then plant.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    That's what I wasn't sure of with those @punkdoc. I couldn't remember if they were planted in autumn or spring.
    Hopefully @michael.hooker's bulbs are in good order for planting.

    Hyacinths are late though. Are they in good condition Michael? You wouldn't usually get those now unless they were already potted up and starting into growth. You can often buy them like that in GCs etc. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you both.  All the bulbs came from mail order suppliers I usually rely on, but maybe they were clearing out unsold stock. The price tends to suggest that...(but was pension-friendly). Here are photos.  The hyacinths with green tips certainly look healthy, not so sure about the ones that aren't showing any green.  One of the nerines is sprouting at the base.  Nothing is mouldy or feeling squidgy (excuse the technical term!).

    Michael
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    'pension friendly' - I like that!
    The nerines look fine, so that's good. The hyacinths also look ok, although the middle one looks like it might have a little damage, but that might just be the pic. Squidgy is always a good description too  ;)
    I'd get them potted up and you should get a showing, even if it's a bit later. I bought some a few years back, late on from the supermarket, at a reduced price, which were potted as I described. I  kept them potted for the first year, and they're now out in the garden, and have been doing fine the last couple of years   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027
    I assume you know that the nerines need to be planted with their snouts proud of the soil, in a very sharply drained soil, in really good sun.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • Thanks, I was planning on adding horticultural grit to the bulb compost for these, and I knew they had to be poking out of the soil.  The planter will doubtless end up in the sunniest spot.

    Michael
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    Good luck with them @michael.hooker - hope you get a good display  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,376
    Plant the already sprouted hyacinths as indoor plants.  

    Nerines are autumn flowering, although the leaves will be sprouting soon.  So keep until spring and then plant in a sunny spot.  
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Sign In or Register to comment.