It’s wonderful that we can bring spring into our own home. Grape hyacinths, daffodils, or tulips. But when the enjoyment is over, what do we do with those flower bulbs that have faded? They are all pre-pulled in pots and offered en masse at garden centers or the florist. Ready to bring all those living rooms into a spring atmosphere? The trash can is too easy and, moreover, the wrong solution. With a little care, flower bulbs can provide many years of enjoyment.
Flowering Balls For The Living Room
It really is part of the climate, going with the seasons. This is how it is in many living rooms. The Christmas tree has just left the room and the fresh clean living room is being brightened up with spring bulbs. It is a trend that started years ago. At the start of the new year, flower bulbs in pots are offered en masse in garden centers and florists. In warm living rooms they then quickly bloom and, unfortunately, also quickly fade. And then?
What Are Flower Bulbs?
A flower bulb is a short and stocky stem part with fleshy thick leaves. There is a thin membrane around this to protect these delicate parts from drying out. The flower bulbs store the reserve food in these fleshy thick parts, i.e. the bulb. They get this food from the leaves. That is why it is always so important to leave the leaves on flower bulbs that have faded!
The Lifespan Of A Flower Bulb
Not all flower bulbs grow in the same way. And the lifespan of a bulb also differs. Actually, this can be compared to the plants in the garden. After all, we have annuals, perennials, and perennials there. This is also more or less the case with flower bulbs.
Annual Flower Bulbs
With annual flower bulbs, the fleshy leaf-like parts are sucked empty in one year (read: in one flowering season) in order to achieve maximum flowering. After that, the bulb dies and is replaced by a new one.
The Tulipa (Tulip) is an example of an annual flower bulb.
Biennial Flower Bulbs
With biennial flower bulbs, the oldest year is sucked empty in the first year and the rest in the second year. But in those two growing seasons, the flower bulb transports so much reserve food from the above-ground parts (ie the stem) to the flower bulb that a new flower bulb is formed.
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Biennial flower bulbs are the ideal bulbs for the garden. These are the so-called naturalizing bulbs. Because new bulbs are constantly being produced, an entire field of one and the same variety is created over the course of many years.
Flower bulbs where this propagation takes place are, for example, Galanthus (Snowdrop) and Fritillaria (Kievitseitje).
Perennial Flower Bulbs
With the perennial flower bulb, the effect is very different. Here the outer scales (the oldest scales) are sucked empty during the growing & flowering season. But new scales are formed from the inside of the flower bulb. The other scales also grow in length and thickness. In other words, more is added each year than is consumed or disappears. These flower bulbs are therefore getting thicker.
Examples of these bulbs are Scilla (Sterhyacinth), Narcissus (Narcis), and Hyacinthus (Hyacinth).
Take Spent Bulbs Outside
Summarizing the above, we can therefore conclude that the flower bulb itself takes care of its reproduction. Who are we then to throw the flower bulbs back in the container after one growing & flowering season?
As soon as the flower bulbs in the living room have finished flowering, they can be placed outside in a sheltered place. Let them die there quietly and remove only the seed pods. Make sure they are not too wet. Because feet that are too wet will rot the bulbs.
Store Bulbs On The Terrace Or In The House
If the intention is to have the bulbs bloom again in the living room the following year, leave them in the pot quietly and make sure they get some water now and then (not too much!). The following year the green dots will reappear above the ground and they can go back into the living room.
Plant Bulbs In The Garden
It is quite possible to plant flower bulbs in the garden. Many species do well in the open ground. You can do this right after the indoor bulbs have finished blooming. Because it is still full winter, you can also wait until the temperatures start to rise and the ground outside is less wet and cold.
- Flower bulbs also prefer sun, partial shade, or shade. So give them the right place in the garden.
- Easily visible from home (in winter we are not much outside and enjoy the garden from inside) or along a heavily used path (for example a path to the door).
- Make sure that the dying leaves are not visible, so preferably place them under deciduous shrubs. By the time the leaves of the flower bulbs die, the shrub will sprout and form new fresh leaves. This will hide the ugly dying leaf from view.