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Tulip bulb storage

Posted by stfowler Kansas (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 14 at 16:07

I recently was able to purchase tulips from my local botanical gardens. They dig them up after they are done blooming, leave the foliage on and then sell them to us.

They gave us an instruction sheet for care, but I've had people tell me so many different things. I am fairly new to gardening so I want to make sure I give myself and the bulbs the best fighting chance possible.

The instructions are as follows.

1. Remove the flowerhead/ seed pod if not already removed. (I've done this)
2. Let the bulbs dry slowly in a dark location with good air circulation and temperatures around 75 degrees. (I'm currently housing them in a table in the garage, my issue is that I live in Kansas and it's already gotten to 102 this year, should I move them some place inside?)
3. In late summer, when the plants are totally dry, remove the bulb from the plant stem, being careful that you do not damage the bulb.
4. Treat the bulbs with a fungicide in preparation for fall planting.
5. Plant after October 1st.

I've been told to plant them now, that it is needed to go dormant, so I'm second guessing myself. What would you all recommend?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tulip bulb storage

do they still have the leaves on them ...

i would plant them right back in mother earth.. and mark the spot with a 4 by 6 foot sign.. so i dont dig them up.. lol ... or plant things on top of them ...

and i would do this mostly.. because i would find them in the garage about 4 years from now... lol .. been there.. done that ... lol

did anyone else suggest this????


RE: Tulip bulb storage

Yes. They still have all the leaves on them. I've got them laid out all nice and neat. Totally won't forget them, just want to give them the best chance of survival.

RE: Tulip bulb storage

Assuming these were grown outdoors ....

If the roots are still in clumps of moist dirt, I'd plant them where you are going to grow them. Water to keep moist. As long as leaves are green, the bulbs are still in the "gathering energy" mode to store food for next year's flowers.

If the roots were rinsed off or the dirt on the roots has completely dried out so that the roots have dried up, then that pretty is it for the season. In that event, I'd follow the directions the gardens gave. However, whether to wait until October to plant is another Q.
1) Once the greenery has died off an the stems have been removed, you could give the bulbs a week or two longer to make sure the area from which the stems have come off the bulbs has dried. Then there is no reason you can't simply plant them then.
2) If you are considering planting a number of other bulbs in the Fall, it might be easier to wait so you can keep better track of what you planted where.

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