Replanting tulips

OldDutch(4)June 15, 2014

I have taken to doing this every year. The bulbs cure beautifully all by them selves if dug anytime after flowering and allowed to dry off with the foliage attached. I have found that the foliage need not even have started to yellow, but best bulb size happens when that is allowed to proceed a bit. They store at room temperature (dark is best) until planting time next fall once completely dry. They get newly reworked and refertilized beds every year and bloom dependably. It is also my impression that they multiply better if planted shallow, too. I replant them when I plant my garlic which is normally mid October. I actually use the same procedure (old window screens in a shaded by airy screen porch) to cure my garlic later when it is ready to dig, also onions and potatoes in their turns. It gets pretty hot out there at times during the summer. In the mean time I have an additional flower or vegetable bed to work with.

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

When I've stored them out of the ground dessication has been a problem.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:49PM
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You and I have to store our tulips differently, and being in zone 9, you should cold treat them. I have had some dessication on bulbs primarily those where I did not keep the foliage attached to dry down naturally. But I do not need to cold treat my bulbs here in Minnesota, Minnesota does that for me automatically from a Sept or Oct planting. My storage period is siginificantly shorter than yours as well.

There is a pretty good article from the National Gardening Association at:

It specifically addresses growing tulips in the warmest hardiness zones among other things.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:58AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Thanks Old Dutch. I figured long summer temps. and low humidity were culprits. I now leave in dedicated pots and certain dry soil areas amongst bearded iris.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:43AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Digging and replanting your tulips is a slippery slope to climb. It starts innocently enough with a few dozen and before you know it snowballs into a couple hundred!
Mine nearly all rotted last summer because I didn't let them dry off enough before storing. It's not the nicest smell.

This spring I missed them, but it was nice having open beds to plant less useful things such as tomatoes and beans :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:38PM
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I am not afraid to cull my bulbs and the screen porch where I cure has done an excellent job of drying down tulips and alliums, also regular potatoes and onions, without humidity concentrations. If push comes to shove, what I have can be replaced easily and relatively cheaply, too. I really like red tulips.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:56PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I like all kinds of tulips :)
This is where the tomatoes were supposed to go last year, now that the tulips are nearly all gone I have plenty of room.... but I still have this compulsion to dig and divide some of the stray bulbs that I missed last summer. Maybe I'll just dig two small patches, that shouldn't be a problem at all.
but I have daffodils to dig and divide this year too... plus annuals that still need planting. I'm never done.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:24PM
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I have taken to digging my tulips almost immediately after flowering while the leaves and stems are still green. I don't usually miss any that way. As long as the stems and leaves stay attached during curing I generally get good keeping bulbs for the next fall planting. This past year I got 3X to 4X muliplication of blooming sized bulbs. I never saw anything like it.

All I did differently was interplant my garlic varieties with the tulips in the prepared garlic beds and then not quite so deep as I used to plant when I bedded tulips on their own. I also have quite a few tiny bulblets that I may be able to grow on. There is no question in my mind that tulips love to feed and will make good use of extra fertile beds.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:15AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I like the way you think Dutch.
Digging when the foliage yellows is the best bet, but I'm always a few weeks behind. My garlic is looking good though, and I will dig that on time!
Are you thinking the garlic- tulip planting combo was good for your tulips, as in they liked the company?
I plant shallow, mostly out of laziness. I'll take a look for some more pictures, I've had bulbs so shallow they looked as if they were close to sunburning!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 8:48PM
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I think they liked the rich, re-fertilized beds and were neither bothered nor helped by the "company". Not a companion planting issue, I think, but one of diet.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:19PM
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