Bulbs

Bulbs can yield several plants if divided in an appropriate way. Scaly bulbs (see p158) such as lilies and fritillary are propagated by scaling whereby the outer scales are pulled off and put in a polythene bag with a suitable moist material such as vermiculite or pushed to half their depth in open propagating compost and covered with polythene. For tunicate bulbs (see p158), such as tulips, the daughter bulbs within the parent bulb can be removed in late summer and grown on in open compost in a warm environment. Bulbs with a tight structure, such as hyacinths and daffodils, are cut into pairs of scales, twin scaling. The outer scales are removed and the remaining bulb is cut vertically into several segments. These are then split with a clean knife into pairs of scales with a piece of the base plate and treated as scales. Chipping is used with non-scaly bulbs whereby the bulb is simply divided vertically into many pieces, each with a piece of basal plate. For these methods it is important to maintain hygienic conditions and use a suitable fungicide to minimize the introduction of fungal diseases to the cut surfaces.

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