What if bulbs or tubers sprouted?
The organization of the proper storage of bulbous and tuberous plants is not in vain considered not only important, but also a difficult task. At the slightest error in the selection of conditions of detention or the influence of any negative factors, your favorite flowers (dug bulbs, tubers) often wake up ahead of time. Dealing with such a problem will not be easy. But premature sprouting of bulbs or tubers is not a reason for panic. Some zeal and attention will help save and preserve the plants.
Germination of bulbs or tubers long before the start of their planting period is an emergency requiring quick decisions. There is simply no basic and reliable strategy or method for stopping the development of bulbs and saving planting material that woke up ahead of time. In each individual case, you need to look for your own special way out. After all, it is far from always possible to ensure maintenance in new conditions or planting for plants, it is necessary first of all to study both your capabilities and the characteristics of plants.
Regular monitoring, airing of rooms, sanitary inspections of each bulb or rhizome, and cleanliness in storage facilities are the main measures that will allow bulbous and tuberous bulbous plants to normally winter outside the soil. It is thanks to frequent inspections of planting material that early signs of the beginning of its growth and development can be noticed.
The sooner the problem of early germination is "diagnosed", the better. If the sprouts have just hatched, and even more so, if we are talking only about swollen buds, then with timely correction of conditions, it may be possible to stop and slow down their growth. If the sprouts have already grown by several centimeters, then the plants can be "held" until the time of planting. But a strong, powerful start and the development of sprouts above 4 cm along with the growth of roots will also mean that this problem cannot be dealt with without emergency planting.
Most often, bulbs of tulips and gladioli, Cannes of Indian and small-bulbous plants sprout ahead of time. Sometimes, if stored improperly, sprouts may appear on dahlias and lilies. A similar problem can be encountered when buying seed onions or garlic in advance.
The main rule that you should not forget in such situations is not to panic when you find sprouts on the bulbs during a check in the winter. As with any garden plant problem, it’s best not to try to solve it right away. Before you try to stop the growth of bulbs, you must first analyze how sprouts have developed and what are the causes of this problem.
Bulbs that are in storage, even, it would seem, in ideal conditions, can sprout, especially when it comes to newly purchased planting material. By no means always, albeit often, errors made during laying for storage or choosing conditions of detention lead to such an early start. Most often lead to off-season vegetation high temperatures and air humiditybut other factors may “work” - sudden changes in temperature, intense lighting, change of storage conditions, temperature instability, etc. First of all, you should check how much the storage conditions for a particular plant correspond to its features and preferences. Parameters that will deviate from the required ones should be adjusted primarily to prevent early spillage and the rest of the planting material.
With vegetable crops, everything is simple and unambiguous. If, when stored in heat, previously purchased stocks of onion sets sprouted in advance, then it is planted on the greens in pots. Sprouted garlic is eaten and not planted. To use the sprouted bulbs for planting in the spring in the garden is no longer possible, but the plants themselves can be used.
There are only two options for saving sprouted bulbs:
- Inhibition or stunting.
- Distillation and early landing in containers.
They are radically different in nature and complexity. If the first option is trying to stop growth before that time, when the time comes for a favorable time for planting, or at least until the length of daylight increases, the second option allows the plants to grow further, in slow motion or in normal mode.
The second option is suitable only if a small number of plants germinate or if there is an additional area for placing containers and pots. If this is not possible, then the only thing you can do is try to stop the process and keep the plants until spring.
Different strategies are not equally suitable for different types of plants:
- If we are talking about small onions, tulips or spring bulbs, it is impossible to stop their growth and it is better to plant them in containers for distillation.
- Planting is also preferred for sprouted lilies, and for Indian cannes, and for other bulbous exotics.
- But dahlias, gladioli and other "local" tuber crops can be preserved until planting, even after germination (of course, provided that the conditions are adjusted).
Regardless of the chosen strategy, there are general measures that need to be taken for any awakened bulbs and root tubers:
- plants with sprouts above 2-3 cm must be moved from a dark to a bright place, protecting them from direct sunlight;
- bulbs and rhizomes carefully examined; in the event that there are traces of high humidity, heating, and even more rot, they need to be dried and cleaned, after processing the damage;
- the bulbs are slightly dried, and if no planting is planned, then within 2 to 3 days they are allowed to dry well.
1. Growth arrest without landing
Awakened bulbs with small shoots can be saved before planting and after the start of the growing season. In order to stop or slow down the development as much as possible, plants need to be placed in new conditions - lower temperatures and provide all the parameters necessary for normal development. In fact, bulbs affected by heat or other factors are simply sent to the right conditions for them.
If the bulbs sprouted in cool, temperatures from 10 to 15 degrees, then the temperature is reduced to cold 2-5 degrees heat. If they sprouted in heat, then you can try lowering the temperature to the middle range, and if there is no visible stop of growth, then transfer them to cold.
Sprouted bulbs and tubers, especially if they develop shoots and new roots, should be laid out freely so that the plants do not interfere with each other. Indicators of air humidity need to be controlled: keep planting material only in dry conditions, any increase in humidity will lead to the resumption of active growth.
2. Planting in the soil
If you are lucky, and the weather at a time when the bulbs woke up ahead of time, allows you to plant in the soil at least with cover, then the plants can be planted in the garden or greenhouse. But such a situation is rare. Most often, this problem is typical for regions with severe winters, where planting in the soil is out of the question. In this case, the bulbous and tuberous plants are planted in closed soil - in the soil of a warm winter greenhouse, winter garden, in containers, boxes or pots.
Before you start planting sprouted plants, you need to decide whether you want to achieve early flowering or if the task is just to save the crops before planting in the soil. In the first case, it is better to land in the most decorative containers so that you can enjoy the beauty of your favorite flowers at inopportune times. For distillation, plants are planted one at a time or in small groups.
If you want to keep the sprouts and roots, but not stimulate flowering, but stop or slow down the growth before planting in the garden, then you can place the bulbs in any containers, but observing the recommended distances when planting in open soil (with a tight planting, it will be difficult to plant bulbs in garden).
Whatever plant is discussed, and even regardless of the size of the bulbs or tubers themselves, when planting sprouted plants too early, they adhere to the general rules for planting:
- use a light, permeable and nutritious substrate;
- the bulbs are buried to a depth of two to three times the height of the bulb itself;
- drainage must be laid at the bottom of containers;
- when leaving, they are guided by the development of bulbs, observing the rules of careful and sparse watering and other norms for potted bulbs.
Bulbous, which are planted for conservation, but want to slow down in growth, are exposed in a bright and cold place with temperatures close to zero (from 2 to 5 degrees). Keeping in a cold or at least in a cool place stops development and the plants will slowly wait for the arrival of a comfortable time for transplantation and their transfer to heat. Such plants do not water.
Bulbous, from which they want to achieve flowering, need bright lighting. If germination occurs in the winter (and even in the beginning of spring), the plants will have to provide additional illumination. Active irrigation is resumed for plants only with the beginning of active growth of the peduncle and leaves, before that limited to fast support irrigation.
Regardless of whether the bulbous and tuberous bloomed or not, they are transplanted into the open soil as soon as the opportunity arises. Plants are transferred carefully, preserving the entire earthen lump and actually transferring them into the planting pits. The aerial part is retained completely even if the leaves or stem fade to ensure normal aging and nutrition of storage tissues. Flowers are cut into bouquets, leaving part of the stem. For the winter, they dig up plants in the same way as ordinary plants, planted at typical times.
And how did you save the sprouted bulbs? Tell us in the comments about your experience in saving sprouted bulbs or tubers of plants.