Bulb Health Guide: How To Tell If A Bulb Is Healthy

bulbs

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One of the quickest ways to plant stunning flower gardens is
through the use of flower bulbs. Whether wishing to establish flower borders that consist
of mass plantings or looking to add a vibrant pop of color in pots and
containers, flower bulbs are an excellent option for gardeners of any skill
level. However, depending upon the type of bulb or quantity needed, acquiring
bulbs may quickly become expensive.

While in-store and online “end of the season” sales may help
to alleviate this cost, it is important that growers know what to look for in
terms of ensuring that the bulbs they purchase are healthy, hardy, and likely
to grow into beautiful flowers.

Bulb Health Guide

The purchase of unhealthy flower bulbs may happen more than
one would think. Both spring blooming and summer blooming flower bulbs are
susceptible to issues such as mold and rot, and may arrive in less than ideal
condition. This is especially true when bulbs continue to be sold beyond the
ideal planting time for each growing region.

Although receiving low quality bulbs from retail suppliers
is somewhat common, growers often experience a great decline in bulb health in
their own stored bulbs, tubers, and corms. By avoiding unhealthy bulbs, and
planting only those demonstrating signs of vigor, growers are more likely to
enjoy a bright and vibrant flower garden.

What Does a Healthy Bulb Look Like?

When purchasing bulbs, there are a variety of things to consider. First and foremost, gardeners should look for bulbs that are large in size. Larger sized bulbs will not only produce healthier plants, but are more likely to produce better quality flowers.

Healthy flowering bulbs should be firm to the touch, and
have a weight that is proportional to their size. When planted in the ideal
conditions, these flower bulbs will have the greatest chance of quickly sending
out roots and becoming established in the garden.

How to Tell if a Bulb is Healthy

In general, healthy bulbs will show no signs of disease.
Though sometimes undetectable, many bulbs that have become infected will show
signs of rot or decay. This includes the presence of soft or “mushy” spots on the
surface of the bulb.

Conversely, some bulbs may become exceptionally dry or
shriveled. Most commonly caused by lack of moisture throughout the storage
process, these bulbs may also fail to thrive.

Avoiding Unhealthy Bulbs

Although unhealthy flower bulbs may still be planted in the
garden, the best course of action is prevention. When storing bulbs, make certain you’re familiar with the specific storage
requirements for each type of plant. This will ensure that overwintered bulbs
will be healthy and viable once the time to plant has arrived in the spring or
summer.

Buying flowering bulbs in person, rather than online, allows
growers to have greater control over the product they receive. Checking bulbs
before planting will ensure that all flowering plants have the best chance of
success.

This article was last updated on 10/18/21
Read more about General Bulb Care

One of the quickest ways to plant stunning flower gardens is
through the use of flower bulbs. Whether wishing to establish flower borders that consist
of mass plantings or looking to add a vibrant pop of color in pots and
containers, flower bulbs are an excellent option for gardeners of any skill
level. However, depending upon the type of bulb or quantity needed, acquiring
bulbs may quickly become expensive.

While in-store and online “end of the season” sales may help
to alleviate this cost, it is important that growers know what to look for in
terms of ensuring that the bulbs they purchase are healthy, hardy, and likely
to grow into beautiful flowers.

Bulb Health Guide

The purchase of unhealthy flower bulbs may happen more than
one would think. Both spring blooming and summer blooming flower bulbs are
susceptible to issues such as mold and rot, and may arrive in less than ideal
condition. This is especially true when bulbs continue to be sold beyond the
ideal planting time for each growing region.

Although receiving low quality bulbs from retail suppliers
is somewhat common, growers often experience a great decline in bulb health in
their own stored bulbs, tubers, and corms. By avoiding unhealthy bulbs, and
planting only those demonstrating signs of vigor, growers are more likely to
enjoy a bright and vibrant flower garden.

What Does a Healthy Bulb Look Like?

When purchasing bulbs, there are a variety of things to consider. First and foremost, gardeners should look for bulbs that are large in size. Larger sized bulbs will not only produce healthier plants, but are more likely to produce better quality flowers.

Healthy flowering bulbs should be firm to the touch, and
have a weight that is proportional to their size. When planted in the ideal
conditions, these flower bulbs will have the greatest chance of quickly sending
out roots and becoming established in the garden.

How to Tell if a Bulb is Healthy

In general, healthy bulbs will show no signs of disease.
Though sometimes undetectable, many bulbs that have become infected will show
signs of rot or decay. This includes the presence of soft or “mushy” spots on the
surface of the bulb.

Conversely, some bulbs may become exceptionally dry or
shriveled. Most commonly caused by lack of moisture throughout the storage
process, these bulbs may also fail to thrive.

Avoiding Unhealthy Bulbs

Although unhealthy flower bulbs may still be planted in the
garden, the best course of action is prevention. When storing bulbs, make certain you’re familiar with the specific storage
requirements for each type of plant. This will ensure that overwintered bulbs
will be healthy and viable once the time to plant has arrived in the spring or
summer.

Buying flowering bulbs in person, rather than online, allows
growers to have greater control over the product they receive. Checking bulbs
before planting will ensure that all flowering plants have the best chance of
success.

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