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Pre-chilling tulip bulbs for 2nd year?

Posted by Plesiosaur NC/ 7b (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 22:00

I know in the South you have to prechill tulips in the fridge before planting because it doesn't get cold enough in the winter for them to bloom. I also know most people dig them up after blooming and throw them away. Has anyone tried digging them up and putting them in the fridge for a second year?

I figure you'd have to wait for the foliage to die off so the bulb had enough stored energy, then I would just store them in paper bags in the garage for the summer, place them in the fridge in November then plant them out in January.

Is that a stupid waste of time?

I'd just love to get couple of seasons out of my bulbs before I toss them.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pre-chilling tulip bulbs for 2nd year?

I guess it depends on what your time is worth. I did it for a few years and decided it was not worth it, considering the low cost of tulip bulbs. If you do try it you will find that many tulips create 'splits' with neither bulb large enough to bloom. Most tulips less than 12cm circumference will not bloom. When you sort out the splits and the undersized, the second year only about 30% will bloom again. With tulips going for about $25 a hundred or 25 cents apiece for 14cm sure to bloom bulbs, it was not worth it for me. Al

RE: Pre-chilling tulip bulbs for 2nd year?

Agree with Al. If you can only have a limited number due to expense, plant one big pot full of them and put them front and center.

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