I bought potted tulips for Easter which are now in full bloom. How do I save them to plant in flower beds for spring blooming?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Peggy from Little Rock, AR
Planting potted tulips
Potted tulips are a great way to show off these beautiful bulbs and still know where it is you planted them. The pot has to be deep enough to allow the bulb to be planted at its normal depth (2 bulbs deep) and also permit the tulip bulb enough room to develop roots.
Use a high quality potting mix that drains well and after planting apply a good slow-release fertiliser.
You can add other bulbs, or flowering annuals, to the same pot if you wish providing they are smaller and will take less room than your tulips. Lily-of-the-valley or grape hyacinths would make an ideal complimentary partnership.
You can try and use these bulbs again, but they have been forced to bloom early and do not usually bloom again.
I would let them dry out, put them in a nylon stocking or any bag that allows circulation and plant them in the fall.
Be sure to cut the flower stem off once it's done blooming and keep watering the greens as usual until they die and turn brown. Do not over water because the bulbs don't like being soggy and will rot. The reason you want to allow the leaves to die naturally is because they 'feed' the bulb. In the fall (late September or October) plant the bulb about six inches deep for your Zone 8. Your bulb might not bloom next Spring but it will come up as a plant and you need to allow it to die off by itself every year. Now would be a good time to go ahead and place your pot outdoors in a protected area. The great benefit over time is that Tulip bulbs multiply ;-) Enjoy the new addition to your garden ;-)
You may be able to save your tulips bulbs for next season. No guarantee they will bloom. After the flowers bloom, let the leaves turn yellow then take the bulbs and dry them in a paper bag. Tulip bulbs need a dormant period. They need to be stored in a cool area(in bottom of frig, if you live down south). UP north we plant them in the fall and they bloom in the spring. The potted flowers in store have probably been forced to bloom, these usually become blind, and will not flower the next year. Oh, you will get leaves put no flowers. I have bulbs sent from up north down to FL. I store them in the frig. for three months and then plant them. They flower but only for one season. Good luck. jjs
Hi Peggy. I have done this for years, as my grandmother did, and mine have always re-bloomed the following season. I just wait until the flowers have died and gone yellow, then replanted in my flowerbed. They won't grow again that season (except for putting out roots), will go dormant over the winter, and will grow and bloom the next spring. Maybe it's because they harden off in the winter--I really don't know. But it works for tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, asian lilies, and easter lilies. I'm in NW arkansas, so our weather is close. Just make sure squirrels don't eat your bulbs. I know this sounds silly, but I've picked up several pots of flower bulbs that people bought and put out for trash after they've died, not knowing that they could be replanted. I figure that my yard is just as nice a resting place as the dump.