Prefinished Flowering Bulbs
The answer to your dreams of spring!
Potted flowering bulbs are a wonderful way to experience the colors and fragrance of spring in any season. Daffodil, Hyacinth, and Tulip bulbs can often be found throughout the year, already potted, “prefinished", and in full bloom; ready to use for holiday decor, gift giving, or just to chase away the winter “blahs".
“Pre-finished" means that the bulbs are placed in coolers to simulate winter conditions. The cold of winter is required for bulbs to develop flower buds. By putting the bulbs through a planned cold treatment they can be forced into bloom earlier than they would flower in nature.
Once the flowers fade, you have a couple of options. You can dispose of the plant just as you would a temporary cut flower arrangement; just toss it in with your compost. Another option is to plant the bulbs outdoors. Follow these steps to transfer your potted bulbs to the garden:
- Once the flowers fade, cut the flower stem off at its base. This will allow all of the bulb's energy to go into growing foliage and nourishing the bulb, instead of leaving the flowers to go to seed.
- The foliage will grow for a while and then eventually start to die back. Once the foliage dies down completely it can be cut off at the top of the bulb.
- Gently remove the bulbs from the soil and store them in a cool, dark place until it's time to plant them into the ground in autumn.
- Spring flowering bulbs are perennial and they should return year after year in regions with at least 12 weeks of steady winter temperatures below 35-40° F.
- Be sure to plant in well-drained soil and add a little bone meal to the planting hole to provide a slow release of nutrients to the bulb.
Those who live in regions with mild winters can attempt to save their bulbs by following these same steps, but instead of planting the bulbs into the ground, they can be potted into a planter. The entire pot will need to be placed in a cold location, such as a refrigerator, for 12-14 weeks in order to duplicate the “winter" cold required for the bulbs to bloom again.Look for an assortment of beautiful flowering plants at your neighborhood Loblaw store.