So decided to give tulips a try...Now what??

roly0217February 17, 2010

Hello everybody !!! I just came back home from my Garden Center with a gorgeous Tulip. It has 3 blooms and a couple more buds coming up. I decided that it will stay in my room since I keep the temperature in there at or around 60s to low 70s while it's in bloom and has foliage. It also gets copious amounts of sunlight so I know that it will be able to photosynthesize with no problem. I added some time release fertilizer as well as bone meal since I read the bulbs particularly like the bone meal. I plan on once the foliage dies back clip it and store them in the crisper or I might even purchase a small fridge to keep them cool. I also ordered some other tulips bulbs that should be here tomorrow so I'll need the cool storage space. Any tips or am I doing things good??

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Tulips that have been forced are not good candidates to be forced the following year. At best, after keeping them chilled you could plant them this the fall, but they likely will not do well for you next year, and then of course they would then again have to be dug, chilled and stored again before being planted in the fall.

I'm sure curious what company is sending you tulips at this time of year. I assume they have been forced and near being in bloom as opposed to being planted out in the ground.

Most varieties of tulips do not make good perennial bulbs. You might consider some of the daffodil varieties that don't require a cooling period.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Hello Sue and thanks for the reply. I know that them being forced this year might represent a set back for next year so next year will more likely be a get bigger/store energy year. I might even cut the bloom spike back to just allow the bulb to focus on storing energy. This is just an attempt. If it doesn't work I'll stick to my gladiolus, amaryllis and callas.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 5:52PM
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you are zone 10. What contry are you in? Perhaps you are around the world where it is approaching fall rather than spring?

I am in zone 7/8 and I chill for 10-12 weeks. One year I decided to allow the foliage to brown, dig and store. I was stunned to see that my big fat tulips had all split into 4 very small bulbs. It was much cheaper for me to compost them (yes, very sad indeed) than to dry, store, chill, plant wait, dig dry store chill plant get the picture. at least 2 years before they would be blooming again! At $34 for 100, it wasn't worth it to me.

Now the species tulips are another story and the clusianas return for me...perhaps they will for you too.

hate to be a spoil sport. In fact, I hope you have great success and come back to tell me how you did it!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Well yeah Spring is coming for me as well. I got these guys as a test run. I know that they are considered throw away plants nowadays but If I can save the bulbs and try to bloom them next year I would love to be able to do so.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Sorry to say that in zone 10 it is not worth the effort to save tulip bulbs. Under the best of conditions tulips sold as potted plants do not reliably return or bloom in following seasons. Even in cooler climates it is difficult enough to get inground planted hybrid tulips to return and most gardeners treat them as annuals. Purchasing the bulbs in fall is cheap, they are fresh and healthy and after an appropriate chill period you can attempt to force them for early bloom or plant in containers or in the ground.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 2:15AM
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