Moldy Tulip Bulbs

Moldy tulip bulbs are a big disappointment when you are hoping to fill a bed or some pots.

It is not that unusual for their skins to have a bit of penicillin mold but these are beyond that tad bit stage.

Mold penetrating tulip bulb

Mold on emerging tulip bulb growth

So, what to do? The plant references say to throw them out and buy new ones but I already spent $22 for 50 of these white tulip beauties.

First, they got a soak in 1% bleach solution in the kitchen sink in the hope that the bleach would stop the mold from continuing to grow without killing the life force in the bulb itself.
After a good slosh around, I wiped them off to see how much damage was beneath the blue and black.

 This tulip bulb is soft to the touch and there is little chance it will thrive in the soil.
This basal root on these have been ruined by mold.
The final step I took to try to salvage part of them  was to spray them thoroughly with fungicide.

 They are all planted in the garden now though some of them will probably not do well. In particular, the ones that the mold turned black and softened.

I hope you don't accidentally get moldy bulbs but if you do, try these methods and go ahead and plant them.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
Molly said…
Post Script -
About 75% of the tulips came up and bloomed. The rest sent up virus spotted leaves but nothing else.
Rachel said…
Thankyou so much for this! I bought tulips for the first time this year, and some went soft after the fridge (too much fruit?). I was also worried because everyone says throw them away, but I planted them anyway hoping I didn't waste my excitement and money. Hopefully some of them still bloom like yours did!
Rachel said…
Molly said…
Yes, storing the bulbs near fruit in the fridge can add moisture that they don't need.
But, what the heck, treat them and plant them.
You might be positively surprised like I was.
Let me know how it turns out.
Sheilagh said…
Thanks - v.helpful - just got some mail-order bulbs here in the UK, and am going to give them a go, despite green mould!
Molly Day said…
It's disappointing to pay full price and get half product!
I hope treating your moldy bulbs works out successfully for you.
Terri Lacoste said…
I separated some paperwhote bulbs so.e if which had a bit of mold on the old bron coverings. Now I have a red and swollen, itcht and painful rash all over my chest and throat. What is this all about, are all molds on bulbs penicullan?

Molly Day said…
If you are sensitive to mold in general, you'd probably be sensitive to bulb mold. Did you try Benedryl cream on the rash?
KJ said…
I received a pot of forced tulips as a gift. They are nearly ready to bloom, and I noticed white mold (?) on the roots! Is this mold? What can I do to get rid of it and protect my pretty blooms? There doesn't seem to be any on the bulbs.
Molly Day said…
Hi KJ - I've been away due to illness. I hope your tulip problem was resolved with a bit of fungicide. Let me know how it turned out please.

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