Tulips and Hyancinth's

emptysgirl7August 17, 2011

Good afternoon,

I would like to know cause I am thinking about buying some tulip and hyacinths bulbs if they can be stored during the winter months in a warm, dry place and then during the spring put back outside again. I was thinking about planting them in a big pot with potting soil and would like to know if that can be done along with during the winter season storing them in a warm, dry, place.

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Actually, you should plant the bulbs in the fall after your soil cools down. This is typically when bulbs become available in the stores too. They go down deep into the ground and begin to make roots during the cold of the winter. Then in the spring, they push on up out of the soil and bloom. When they finish blooming, be sure to allow their foliage to stand until it turns brown. This "ripening" process feeds the bulb, and next year's bloom is actually formed in the bulb during that time. Be aware that of all the bulbs commonly planted for spring, tulips are the least likely to return and bloom for very many years. It has to do with climate and such. The hyacinths should return faithfully, though. And if you want surefire perenializers, plant some daffodils too.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:56PM
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That wasn't the question I asked. I am thinking about buying tulips and hyacinth bulbs from Colorblends. I don't know they are a good company or not. What I would also like to know is I heard that bulbs depending on the flower that they can be stored during the winter time in warm, dry place until next blooming time. So what I would like to know is can that be done with the tulips and hyacinths.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:05AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

So what I would like to know is can that be done with the tulips and hyacinths.
No, or at least not with much success. They will likely need a chill period (that Colorblends did not give them before shipping), so I would not advise storing them in a warm area, but instead storing them in the pot in an unheated garage, or crawlspace. You could also leave them outside, providing your container was large enough and had good drainage, and was protected some from getting too much moisture that might freeze instead of draining.

Here is a link that might be useful: Abundant Tulip Container

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:49PM
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In a word -yes you can. (And I'm only saying that because you're free to do whatever you want with bulbs and any advice you might be given.) However, your chances of success with them with your proposed method is pretty low....

a cozy warm basement doesn't give them the cold period (vernalization) they need. Without the cold period, they'll possibly sprout leaves but flowers are unlikely.

In a colder zone, you'd be better off leaving them potted outside - providing the pot is large enough, somewhat protected from the worst of the elements, and the drainage is good so that soil doesn't stay sodden and rot the bulbs.

With bulbs, direct planting in the ground produces better results. Many people find that their tulips simply do not return a second year anyway and buy them fresh every year. Hyacinths seem to have a better return rate. I had them for a while, but the flowers returned smaller and smaller each year until they eventually disappeared.

I don't mail order so I don't know anything about Colorblends. Fairly decent (though usually not the exotic or rare) bulbs are available in nurseries, garden centers, big box stores and start appearing close to the time they can be planted... which is probably starting late September up through Thanksgiving or as long as the soil is workable in Illinois.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:11PM
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I have purchased from Colorblends and all my bulbs bloomed and were true to what was ordered. I like Van Engelen and Brent and Beckys too. I plant my bulbs in the fall for spring blooms. I have not had luck with planting them in containers but others have.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:05AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

emptysgirl. The way we are reading your post, it appears that you want to store your bulbs, without planting, through the winter and then pot them up in the spring. We do not advise this. Go ahead and pot your bulbs up when you receive them, and leave the pot outside all winter. Just know that you risk an extremely cold spell that might ruin the bulbs, because a pot will not insulate them as well as the ground will. Nevertheless, you have a much better chance of success with the pot outside than inside where it's too warm. To give extra insurance, you could put your pot near a south facing brick wall and/or surround it with a mound of leaves or other insulating material.

Colorblends specializes in selling varieties of bulbs that will bloom at the same time. I have not purchased from them myself but they regularly get good ratings on these forums.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:22PM
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