What to do when your indoor bulbs start to die.

Indoor bulbs provide a fabulous bridge for colour and beauty in your home between Christmas and the start of spring.

Our Paperwhite flowering bowl has reached the end of it's season and I think yours will have too. So what do you do with your bulbs now?

Whilst they are no longer flowering, please don't throw them away.  The paper white bulbs that you had from us were forced so that they would flower early.  This means that they were cooled in a dark place over summer and tricked into thinking that winter was over when you brought them into your home, warmed them up and gave them light and water.

Bulbs are the ultimate storage battery.  In each bulb is all the nutrition that they need to produce their flowers for the season. The process of forcing uses a lot of energy from the bulb making it harder for them to replenish this energy. Without replacing this energy it will take longer for them to reflower.

Really, all you can do is continue doing what you have done already. That is, provide the light and water that helps the bulb to photosynthesise.  The process of photosynthesis creates energy which then feeds the bulb.  The longer you can encourage this to happen the better.  Once the leaves start to yellow and dry out, stop watering the bulb and let it slowly die back in it's own time. This way, all of the energy in the leaves also returns to the bulb before it is cut or allowed to fall off naturally.

Part of the beauty of flowers is being able to enjoy each of their stages. Try to see the beauty in the growing, flourishing and fading of your flowers. If this isn't your kind of beauty though, there are a couple of options:

  • You could pop your dish in an airing cupboard to complete the drying out process. Once dry, store the bulbs somewhere cool until you can plant them out in autumn.
  • You can plant the bulbs outside in a pot or in the ground before they dry out.

Forced bulbs may take a couple of years to reflower so be patient. They will reflower in time.

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