Heeelp- Tulip starting to grow out now in PA!

kris2001(6a - s.e.PA)February 10, 2009


I planted this Tulip 'Tom Pouce' in a pot last oct and placed it in a dark corner in my garage. But now I found that out of 5 bulbs 2 have started to emerge. What do I do now? Move them indoors where its bright /warm so it can bloom?

If it blooms now will it bloom again if I place it outside in spring? Anyway I can postpone bloom or make it bloom again?

Thanks...Kris in s.e.PA z6.


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Did you not intend them for forcing? The last paragraph of the bulb description on forcing spells out almost exactly the process you have gone through. Depending on the size of the container and the temperature maintained in your garage, it's very likely these bulbs have reached the point where they want to emerge from winter dormancy and bloom. If you bring them outdoors, that will definitely delay blooming until later - maybe by as much as 6 weeks - but you risk exposing them to continued cold weather that could damage them. Bulbs in containers do not have the same insulation as do bulbs planted in the ground and are at greater risk for cold damage. You could bring them indoors, place in a bright window in a cool location and enjoy the early color. Too warm a location and the flowers will go over very quickly.

After flowering and when the weather warms and the soil becomes workable, you can plant these outside but they will probably not do much in following seasons. Tulips tend not to be very good perennializers and forced tulips even less so.

Bulbs do not rebloom - one flowering per growing season. It takes a full year for the bulbs to build up the energy to produce flowers. And leave the foliage in place until it dries and falls away naturally - they need the foliage to create the energy they need to develop new flowers.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:58AM
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kris2001(6a - s.e.PA)

I kept it inside and 2 bloomed well, 2 were medium height/half bloom and one just browned in bud stage(didnt bloom).

Now can I keep the pot outside in a corner (away from wind)
under sun so the leaves can grow?

Our 10-day forecast is a min of 30 to 35 degrees range.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:21PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Thanks for the update, glad you got some color out of them! But I wouldn't bother keeping them for next year. Forcing weakens the bulb. Tulips rarely come back even when planted in the ground, so 99% of previously forced tulips aren't going to flower next year.

If you'd like to try, put the pot outside in the sun and wait for the leaves to yellow, then plant them in the ground.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 2:36PM
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