Asked on Feb 22, 2012

Soaking bulbs???

Marvin R
by Marvin R
Has anyone ever soaked flower bulbs in water before planting?I read a article that said it would help with producing better flowers.It also said that soaking them in certain substances could prevent disease and deter pests.If this is true which ones should be soaked and what should they be soaked in?It seems like they would rot?
  10 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 22, 2012
    I have never tried soaking flower bulbs, but the Georgia cooperative extension folks have a good piece on flowering bulbs for a climate very close to yours. Search soak in this document for a list of bulbs that should be soaked:
  • I grew up in upstate NY and my Mom was a master gardener....she always soaked her bulbs in water the night before thinking it gave them a boost when she planted. We had a 5-acre garden there. I'm sure some of our expert gardeners will be able to chime in!
  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Feb 23, 2012
    Marvin, the only bulbs I know that people sometimes soak before planting in luke warm water for just a few hours are the Grecian wind flower, Anemone blanda. But then you plant them in a site that has well drained soil. As far as keeping pests away maybe they are using a chemical but in general bulbs are dormant and don't need to be soaked prior to planting.
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Feb 23, 2012
    I agree with Erica. Small, dry bulbs might benefit from soaking but most bulbs will do fine without the process.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Feb 23, 2012
    The only bulb I've ever soaked before planting was Eranthis hyemalis, or winter aconite. They would definitely fall into the small, dry category.
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on May 12, 2015
    I tried soaking tulip bulbs in hot sauce to deter squirrels. Came up the first year but this year they are ALL just gone! Maybe squirrels like it hot or something.
  • Christina Dorrego Christina Dorrego on May 30, 2015
    none of my stupid bulbs came up. Of course I got them at Walmart, and one of them simply crumbled due to rot.....maybe I will actually find quality ones this year....
    • Kathy Kathy on Oct 24, 2018

      I buy all my bulbs on line at Brecks. They come from Holland. They are a very good price often bogo price and they guarantee them.

  • Ghi5552471 Ghi5552471 on May 09, 2016
    I soaked a lily overnight that I bought in a £1 store as it was very dry, To my suprise it started to show after 2 Days
  • Fran Jelley Fran Jelley on Oct 15, 2016
    i always soak bulbs and particularly liliums because they are planted deep and rainfall wont reach their roots
  • Lori Lori on Mar 22, 2022

    How about if they were sent to you in a pot and you grew them and now they are done, what now?? Can I plant them this year? They are still in the potting soil on my kitchen counter.

    Lori G