?? about Tulips

shugar48(9)May 22, 2009

hi everyone,

i bought my Mom a beautiful tulip plant for mothers day. now that the blooms are gone she wants to save the bulbs. i need to know how to tell her to save the bulbs for the next cycle.

rightnow she has them in ziplock bags and i am not sure if they should be in the fridge yet.

pls help



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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Tulips after blooming have depleted the bulb and the foliage should be maintained and encouraged to build up the bulb for next years bloom. Mother's day was not long enough ago to allow for this, if it was attempted. In my opinion it will be a waste of time to try and save the bulb, plus keeping the bulb refrigerated in a plastic bag will probably lead to a moldy bulb. Al

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 9:50AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

I agree... the best you could do is plant it in the ground and hope that it comes back next spring. But don't get your hopes up. Tulips forced in pots are weakened by the process and usually don't come back.

No worries, though... you can force your own tulips next year. Just google "forcing tulip bulbs" for instructions. It is a cheap and easy project, as long as you have a place to keep the pots at the right temperature over the winter.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Shugar, as mentioned, tulip bulbs, given as potted gifts, have been "forced" and cannot be expected to bloom again and should be discarded.
That's what the book says. Who reads books?
You may wait for the bulb foliage to die back..go brown, and send its starches back down into the bulb...then plant it in your garden and treat it like any other plant.
It may grow new foliage in a year or two...or it may end up as fodder for a squirrel or skunk.

In such warm areas bulbs bought for garden planting are pre-cooled...and any needed interval has to be completed by the purchaser. A bulb may be pre-cooled for 8 - 10 weeks...which then requires the buyer to give the bulb the time needed (for that type of bulb) and that usually is another 2 - 6 weeks. The place for such cooling is usually the refrigerator crisper.

If you are going to attempt this, then get it out of the plastic bag...it cant breathe...let it go brown as it would naturally and then remove the foliage and plant the bulb in your garden at the appropriate time after storage.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 6:08PM
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thanks so much guys. i know i needed to ask knowing that tulips are difficult to grown in our climate.,

she just loved them so much. next year i will just get her some more.

thanks again everyone...


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:27AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Shug, tulips do wonderful in California, they just should not be considered perennial. You can buy a bag of tulips, fifty or sixty tulips for as little as ten or twelve dollars. Properly chilled and planted at the right time your Mom will be thrilled and the envy of her gardening group. I plant about 250 every year and as an eighty year old man, look forward to the comments from the eighty year old ladies. Al

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:48AM
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