What to do with forced bulbs in pot after they bloom?

esther_bApril 8, 2012

I got some forced tulip bulbs in a gift pot for a person who had invited me to a holiday meal. Turns out she didn't want to be responsible for taking care of them, so I went home with them. I have them under my growlight and am keeping the soil evenly moist. They are beautiful small parrot-type pink tulips. What do I do when all the blooms have fallen away, leaving only the stems and leaves?

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keepitlow(6)

Same question as OP.

Wife bought 5 pots of tulips on sale. The leaves died down. Should she plant the bulbs now or plant in fall?

She is keeping them dry, did not water after the tops died. Should she keep the bulbs moist?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:33PM
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denninmi(8a)

I don't bother waiting until fall -- why let them sit there. I put my forced bulbs in the ground as soon as I know the danger of a severe freeze (below 28 degrees) is over. They can take a freeze/frost, and the outdoor conditions are much more conducive to regenerating a large, quality bulb for the next year than indoor conditions.

That being said, tulips, out of almost any forced bulb crop, are about the least likely to be successful in future years, due to their general nature. Depends upon the exact type and variety, of course, but most types commonly used for forcing, such as the single early tulips, are not reliable re-bloomers anyway as a rule, add in the stress of forcing, and, well, don't be too surprised if you mostly just get leaves next year.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:21PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Plant them outside. I have much better luck with daffofils and hyacinths than tulips but have had tulips live too.

(I go around to nurseries and buy their marked down spent bulbs that haven't sold)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:13PM
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freki(5a)

I have never had a failure doing the following:

After blooming, but while the leaves are still green, deadhead and plant the whole pot in the garden in a sunny location, water normally. After the leaves have died back dig up the whole pot and remove the bulbs. Brush off any loose dirt and store them in a paper bag somewhere dry. Plant them in fall, at the normal time for your area.

Tulips can lie dormant for extended periods of time, so if you let them enter dormancy normally they are generally pretty reliable.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:30PM
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