I have written several times both on this site and elsewhere about taking a chance with forced or forgotten bulbs. My advice has always been to just try. Forced bulbs are often exhausted and will not produce flowers the following year. But sometimes they do. And sometimes they do the year after that.
And the sale bulbs that you bought too late in the season or the packet that you tossed in a drawer and forgot to plant: those might just come back, too. Or maybe they won’t. But you can’t know unless you try, and how much effort does it take to pop a few bulbs into the soil anyways? [Says she who almost didn't do it.] Even if they rot in place, well, at least they are adding something to the soil.
Last spring a landscape designer friend created a display garden at a large garden show. Like most displays created at that time of the year, his included a boatload of forced spring bulbs, primarily crocus, ‘Tête à Tête’ daffodils, and muscari. After the show he gifted myself and another friend several trays of spent bulbs. I’m going to be honest here and say that I was not as good about the bulbs as I could have been. I had a lot of other things on the go and the bulbs got shoved into a protected corner of my garden and were all but forgotten. I did not follow any of my own advice. I did not clip off their spent blooms. I hardly bothered to water them at all. I did allow them to wither and die. I did not remove the bulbs from the pots or remove their dry, dead leaves. I did absolutely nothing.
And when fall came I waited until the eleventh hour, until literally just before the ground froze to get them in the ground. We may have added a little greensand to the soil at planting time, but to be honest I don’t recall if we did anything at all. I was lazy and I probably planted them too closely. The goal was get them in and be done with it.
Low and behold, they bloomed this spring. ALL OF THEM. It was fantastic! It was unbelievable.
And so the garden has taught me my own lesson all over again. Sometimes things just don’t work out even when they should, and other times they do even though they shouldn’t. Even when you break the rules, are lazy, slapdash in your execution, and do everything wrong.
You will also note that I did not remove the blooms when they appeared, another bit of my own advice that I could not bring myself to follow. Do as I say, not as I do! The blooms were too pretty and I was very happy to see them. Too happy to clip them. The one thing I did do right was side dress with fresh compost and a bit of sea kelp. Perhaps the bulbs will not bloom as well next year, or not at all. But I don’t care — it will be another lesson for me to learn.