Bulblets and bulbils

Bulblets

Bulblets are tiny bulbs that develop below ground on some bulbs.

Plants that produce bulblets can be artificially induced to increase their bulblet production. This is done by removing the flower stem, and burying it until bulblets develop in the leaf axils.

Dig a trench 6 in deep; slope one side up to ground level. Pinch out any buds or flowers on the stem and then twist it out of the bulb, which should remain in the ground. Lay the stem in the trench along the slope, leaving part of it sticking out of the ground. Spray the stem with a liquid fungicide to prevent disease. Then fill the trench with sand or a light compost and label.

By autumn, bulblets will have developed in the leaf axils at the lower end of the stem. These can be detached and planted straight into the ground at twice their own depth or be left in situ for a year.

This is a surprisingly easy method of producing bulblets, and the only difficulty that is likely to arise is the potential rotting of the stem before the bulblets are produced.

Bulblet propagation

Bulbils

Bulbils are liny bulbs that grow on a stem above ground. This natural process is an extremely prolific way of increasing stock.

A number of lily species such as Lilium candidum can be artificially induced to produce bulbils by disbudding the plant just before flowering. Bulbils will develop in the leaf axils during the remainder of the growing season. Collect them as they mature.

Fill a pot to the rim with John Innes No. 1 compost or similar (see page 12). With a presser board, strike off the excess compost and then firm gently to within $ in of the pot rim. Set the bulbils 1 in apart on the compost surface and gently press them so they make contact with the compost. Cover generously with grit. Strike off the grit level with the rim of the pot. Label and place in a cold frame. Leave for at least twelve months, until autumn of the following year. Then transplant into the open ground.

Certain other plants can also be artificially induced to produce bulbils; some of the ornamental onions will develop them in the flower heads.

Bulblet propagation

1 Pinch out any buds or flowers on a suitable plant.

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2 Twist the stem out of the bulb, leaving the bulb in the ground.

1 Pinch out any buds or flowers on a suitable plant.

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2 Twist the stem out of the bulb, leaving the bulb in the ground.

3 Lay two-thirds of the stem along the sloping side of a trench 6 in deep.

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Bulbil propagation

Bulbil propagation

1 Disbud a suitable plant stem just before it begins to flower.

4 Spray the stem with a liquid fungicide such as Captan or Benomyl.

2 Pick off any bulbils as they mature in the leaf axils on the stem.

5 Fill the trench with sand or a light compost. Label clearly.

3 Set them 1 in apart in a compost-filled pot. Cover with grit and label.

6 Leave during the summer. Detach the bulblets in autumn and replant.

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Responses

  • tesmi
    How to collect leaf bulbils?
    8 years ago
  • Julian Watt
    How can i store bulblets and bulbils?
    6 years ago
  • Biniam
    What plants produce stem bublets?
    5 years ago

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