About the first of December, we planted bulbs we'd had for almost a month, bulbs already rated "old" when we bought them on final sale.
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Since they had been held so long, we looked at each as we planted it and felt it for firmness -- same as judging the freshness of an onion at the produce market.
We threw away about one bulb in a dozen. The rest will bloom next spring.
It's too late if the bulbs won't have enough time to grow roots before warming soil calls them into top growth. When we see very short blooming stems on spring bulbs and forced bulbs we recognize a plant that did not have enough cold time or was coaxed into growth before completing its requisite resting time.
However, if a stored bulb is still firm we might plant it even if it's so late that it won't bloom in its first spring in place. As long as it emerges and grows leaves that spring, it can get back into step and flower the next year.
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