Tulips in Containers

mary_maxApril 29, 2011

I purchased some beautiful tulips today and quickly stuck them in large pots for a beautiful show. My question is do I take these tulips out of the pot after their show so I can put my annuals in place or do they remain in the pot with the annuals? If they need to be pulled out what do I do with them to keep them ready for next year?Thanks so much.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Not all tulips are created equal in how easy/difficult it is to get them to rebloom - especially those you've had in a pot for a a bloom cycle.

Here's the deal - you get the tulips in bloom or ready to bloom. They expend all their energy putting on a show for you, and then need to recharge. The way they do that is by using their foliage to trap the suns energy (after you deadhead) and store it in the bulb for the next growth cycle. The problem is, a pot is not a favored place for tulips, so they most usually can't store enough energy to push a bloom the next year. You could try a liquid fertilizer when the blooms are going over, and plant the whole soil mass in a VERY dry spot with excellent drainage without disturbing the roots, but it's still an iffy thing as to whether or not they'll rebloom.

Think of the coldest, rockiest spot in your garden & the worst soil with the best drainage in full sun, and you have the best spot to plant them - deep - about 3X the diameter of the bulbs. Most tulips are residents of the mountains of Asia & prefer sharp drainage and extremely dry summers. Many people dig their tulips after they die back & let them go dry in a cool dark spot until fall, and replant then.

Al

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 1:09PM
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mary_max

Your information has been very helpful. Thanks you so much.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:58PM
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