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Keyword Search Results for:
Tulip Bulbs

1 Found

Question: 673-112
We have 500 tulip bulbs that we did not plant this fall. Can I just store them? Bill, Portsmouth, RI

Mort's Answer:
It would be better if the tulips were run through the cycle. You could put them in a bed of peat or sawdust in the cellar for the winter. They will sprout but not turn green. I would suggest that you put them in pots instead. Each 6 inch pot will take 6 plants. The mix should be 50% sand and 50% soil (potting soil or loam). The bulb top will be just below the surface. Water them once and cover them with 6 inches of sand (outdoors). In March or early April, remove them from the sand cover. Place them in a sunny location and they will produce flowers. They may not be as pretty as greenhouse grown but they will be ready for storage for the summer. Allow the potted plants to go to full bloom or plant the budded plants in the garden. Whether they are planted in the garden in the spring or left in the pots to bloom, remove them from the soil after they are finished blooming. Cut the stems off and the fibrous roots below the bulb. Clean off all the soil and let them dry in the sun for a day. You can now place the bulbs that went through the cycle into a bed of peat or sawdust for the summer. If you decided to put the bulbs in peat for the winter instead of through the cycle, remove these bulbs from the peat or sawdust in late spring. You will need to clean these bulbs and remove the stems and roots. All bulbs, whether stored for winter or summer should be inspected for mapping, black , gray or brown spots on the shell. If there is any sign of disease, throw out the affected plants. You will be ready to plant them next fall in 6 inch holes that are filled with a third sand. Unfortunately, tulips do not survive as well as other bulbs, if left in the ground over two years. You will have to repeat this cycle every two years but preferably every year.

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