Return to the Bulbs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Question on forcing tulips

Posted by ShotgunJanie MO (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 23, 11 at 11:08

Hi :) I'm a relatively new gardener -- kinda learning what I can as I go. During the fall, I picked up just a few extra bulbs to keep aside for forcing. This was my first season dealing with bulbs so forcing them is also new to me. I'm hoping I didn't screw this up already before I've even gotten started. The 3 bulbs (Triumphs) have been stored in a small paper bag in my downstairs fridge since 11-16. I don't remember what source I must have seen, but I obviously don't recall reading that they should be potted up to chill. I checked on them last week and they're still firm and seem to be in good condition. Since they've been chilling but are not potted up, where do I go from here?? Do I pot and then chill a second time? I sure hope I didn't mess this up already -- I'm looking forward to an early preview of my work outside :) Thanks so much for any advice!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Question on forcing tulips

Next step is to take the pot you've chosen (about 5" wide, fairly deep - say 8", and and it needs to have good drain holes), plus your growing medium - either a soil-based, or soil-less. Not bulb fibre, unless you don't want to keep the bulbs for next year.

Plant them so the bulb is just covered with the mix, and water once. Let it drain.

Put the pot into a cool and shady place (50F and under. Above freezing.) Leave it there for two weeks or so until the bud is through the neck of the bulb.

Some Triumphs were bred using Early tulips - and some can be seriously 'early' - so keep an eye on the pot.

When the bud is through, bring the pot into full light. You can water again - enough to keep the mix damp (not 'wet'). Don't let it sit for ages in a saucer of water.

Warmth-wise - stay under 65F. The flowers will last longer. Don't spray the plants or 'mist' them indoors. You could encourage mould. Also keep an eye out for aphids. (Don't know where they arrive from, but they do, and they help any viruses shift from plant to plant. Rubber gloves and squish! is the most environmentally safe method of control available.)

When they finish flowering, and your outdoor temps are more friendly, you could put the pot out into a sunny, sheltered spot to finish out the season. Take off the flower stalk and leave the leaves. You can feed them each week with normal strength houseplant food. Just - don't feed them while they're in flower, though in-bud is okay.

RE: Question on forcing tulips

I have to disagree with the above. Your bulbs should have been planted in damp soil way back in Sept. Tulips need around 15-16 weeks in temps around 40 F to root properly. Simply storing the bulbs dry in the fridge isn't going to work. If you plant them now, I really have no idea what's going to happen, but they won't bloom properly.


RE: Question on forcing tulips

That could be true.

However. Those bulbs have done their 16 weeks cool - in the fridge.

If they aren't planted up - you won't be able to see what happens next.

With a pot of dirt, careful watering, and care - they have a chance...:-)))

Even ONE flower would be a smile!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Bulbs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here