Tulip Help!

bosewichte(7a/8b)April 3, 2010

I found a great sale for tulips - around .30/bulb! - and bought a lot. I couldn't help myself. It was such a good deal, I ended up buying around 200. The tulips are in pots and in full bloom.

My husband and I are planning on moving in the next year, so I certainly don't want to plant 200 bulbs and leave them, or dig them up later. I'm new with bulbs. I have a master plan and wanted to run it past some experts!

I'll leave the tulips in the pots, blooming, watering as needed. When the flowers die, I'll cut the stems back and leave just a few leaves. Continue to leave them outside. When the foliage has died, I will shake out the bulbs and let them dry. Then, I'll pack them in dry cardboard boxes (no soil) and store them in our nice, cool basement.

We SHOULD move in the next year but hopefully it won't be longer. Will the tulip bulbs store for at least a year or two in the basement? Do they need any care, or will they wait cheerfully in some suspended-animation state until we move and I can plant them at our next and hopefully last location?

Thanks for the tips!

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Tulips don't perennialize really well, and the results are worse than usual with forced/potted tulips... But if you don't mind that only a third of them will produce flowers, then yeah do as you suggested, also add fertilizer to the pots after removing the flowers. But when you remove the flowers, leave all the leaves, until they turn yellow and die on their own. Make sure you get them out of the pots before the weather turns freezing.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Thanks! Do you think they'll come up regularly once I get them in the ground? The tulips I planted years ago still come up regularly with no attention at all. These seem like big, vigorous tulips. :) Do I keep watering the leaves after the flowers are removed, until they die, or do I just let them die off?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:33PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Whether they will return depends upon what type they are. Probably not labeled. Old Darwins are the most successful of tall tulips.

Do water regularly after the flowers are removed. The leaves are manufacturing foods. When they start yellowing they've finished their job and watering may lessen.

I doubt they will hold 2 years. Would need fresh soil the month you normally plant tulips in your zone. We do it in late November-early Dec. here.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 3:41AM
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i need to dig up my tulips as early as possible this spring i normally dig them up after blooming and remove folage and store in peatmoss in large plant containers in barn i hope im doing this right i am digging up well over a 5k

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:34PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi Bob,

It is usually best to start a new thread than it is to ask questions on an old thread, like this.

i need to dig up my tulips as early as possible this spring i normally dig them up after blooming and remove folage and store in peatmoss
Were you waiting about 6 weeks past bloom time for the foliage to die off and feed the bulb for next years bloom? I'm assuming so, and even though you need to dig them as early as possible this year, I would try to leave them as close to at least 6 weeks if possible. If they are dug any earlier, it may compromise the number of blooms you have next spring. I would think it would also be best to let them air dry a good bit if at all possible before storing them in peatmoss.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:54PM
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If you don't want to plant all 200 again, you might want to see if the gardening club in your area will take the extra bulbs and you could donate the excess pots when you move.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:00PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

If I decide to save them for next year, I measure them and only save those 12 cm(about 4 1/2 inches) or more circumference, as these will usually bloom. Al

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:22AM
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This has been a year past....tulips and other true bulbs have been "forced" for sale at the time the writer bought them and cannot come to anything if planted after they have bloomed.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:19PM
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