Bill Carter, Washington

Cut Bulbs

July 15, 2020

Category: Growing Daffodils

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Its digging time and I do 80% of my bulb extraction using my hands.  Start with a shovel then use hands.  (My finger nails are really dirty) I really hate it when I cut a bulb.  Some are cut in half.  Others are just sliced.  What do people do to keep the bulb alive and well?

6 responses to “Cut Bulbs”

  1. Robin Hill says:

    Usually if it is a desirable variety I give the cut a light dusting of flowers of sulphur. Usually works and the bulbs grows ok.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  2. Margaret Seconi, New Zealand Margaret Seconi says:

    Here in Wellington NZ, I do exactly the same as Robin. It works for me too.

  3. Bill Carter, Washington Bill Carter, Washington says:

    I started chipping this summer. If a bulb gets cut I am cutting it up and see if chipping gets me more bulbs. Who else chips?

  4. Sara Van Beck, Georgia says:

    Bill et al –

    I too am going to try my hand at chipping bulbs, specifically winter blooming tazettas.
    Reading up on the internet, there are variations in practices (bagged medium, fungicide compounds, potting soil, etc).

    Is anyone willing to share what works for them?

    Also: Is it too late to chip in Sept -?
    These cultivars would normally be sending out roots by late Sept. so do I need to dig as soon as possible? Or did I miss the window because of flower bud formation? Nothing I’ve read discusses what the window of opportunity is for cutting up a bulb in regard to its dormancy cycle

    Sites discuss a “warm environment” of 68* for storage. Inside air conditioning in Florida is 78* if you like your house cooler, and if you don’t want to go broke you run at 80* when outside temp is 95*+ So: what happens with a storage temp of 80* because I can’t maintain 68* until November?

    Am I correct in thinking that if one cuts a bulb into 6 or 8 pieces, rather than 16 or 24, the resulting bulbs will create larger bulblets?

    Any and all guidance MUCH appreciated!!


  5. Linda Wallpe, Ohio says:

    Hi Sara,

    It has been some years since I’ve chipped bulbs but it worked good.  I was in Paris watching a TV show about Amaryllis.  Cut Amaryllis are big sellers there starting in late fall.  The show demonstrated their process for increase by ‘parting’, their term for the procedure.

    Here is a URL that explains the process:

    The only differences that I recall is the ratio of 11 cups vermiculite to 1 cup distilled water and a  5% bleach solution was used to sterilize the chips.   I suspect a solution of Lysol would work as good.  And be certain to sterilize your knife in between each cut.

    I’d dig and start the process now if I were you.



  6. cwharley cwharley says:

    From peripheral observation:

    In the Netherlands they chip as soon as the bulbs are lifted. Whether this is done for production schedule  or horticultural reasons I do  not know. I suspect both.

    Attached is a picture from this July showing slicing a smaller bulb, perhaps n.Mite. Note the manicure.

    Hygiene is important. But seems like a person wouldn’t chip virus-infected stock to begin with.

    Hope that helps.