Magazine article Sunset

Comeback Bulbs

Magazine article Sunset

Comeback Bulbs

Article excerpt

Months before daffodils and tulips bloom outdoors, you find tempting selections of these spring bulbs in pots at nurseries and supermarkets around the West. They flower for a few weeks in your home. But before you toss them out after the flowers fade, consider this: Some potted bulbs are worth saving and transplanting in your garden. The comeback candidates listed at left can bloom again for years to come.

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When you bring plants home, keep them in a spot that gets plenty of natural light. Some kinds, especially daffodils, benefit from spending nights on a cool, frost-free porch or patio. Water whenever the top 1/2 inch of soil dries out. Feed plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer once during bloom and again just after. When flowers fade, pinch them off and water sparingly. After the leaves die back, let plants go dry and keep the bulbs in the pots. In late summer, knock the bulbs out of the pots and transplant them into good garden soil.

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