Tulips outside during cold winter???

joaninhaAugust 9, 2006

I'm just beggining on my forever gardening passion, I don't have a garden, just my balconies and my house. I made some successfull trial during this summer, and I would like to plant tulips for next years. I read a lot about on the internet about planting tulips on pots, but I have a doubt I wasn't able to clarify. During the cold Montreal winters when temperatures go below 0ºC, and if I can't store my planted tulips inside, how should I protect then successfully on the balconies? Is it possible? Impossible? Thank you to everyone that can help me on my first trials!

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hi Joan! Tulips need the cold weather before blooming. Our gardening friends in warmer climates, like California and Florida, have to dig them up and chill them before planting! The main thing you will have to worry about with planing your tulips in pots, is that it makes a nice handy snack for squirrels and chipmunks! You may want to cover with chicken wire over the winter. Have fun!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 11:35AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Joan, it is not the cold that you need to worry about, but the freeze, thaw cycle. This is what makes it difficult to bring potted plants through our winters. Difficult but not impossible. First, use very large pots to provide as much insulation as possible with the soil. Don't plant the bulbs on the edges. If they are square or large enough you can line them with styrofoam. If not, find some way to insulate them on the outside. You can use almost anything - old blankets, bags of leaves... Preferably put the containers in a shady part of the balcony, so the sun won't be raising their temperature on a daily basis. Your enemy here is not cold, but temperature fluctuations. Bulbs in the ground are usually protected just by the large mass of the earth, combined with leaves or snow cover.

Hope this helps some.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 3:55PM
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Thanks for your help, I will try to protect them the better I can from the freezing and from the temperatures flutuations... Next year I guess we will know if I was sucessfull. I'm crossing all my fingers!
Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 7:08PM
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