The Q&A Archives: Rising Tulip Bulbs

Question: I planted several tulip bulbs several years ago. They were planted about 6 inches in the ground. Every summer, I can go to two of my beds and there will be bulbs on top of the ground. Do tulips normally do this and how do I remedy the situation? I usually replant the bulbs immediately but have decided to replant them in the fall this year. Do I need to keep the bulbs cool or can I just lay them in a box under the bed?

Answer: Tulips and some other bulbs will gradually push themselves toward the surface as they become crowded, others seem to simply work their way upward over time. This is one reason why some gardeners plant tulips at the maximum suggested depth (8 inches to delay the rising) or in some cases prefer to lift and replant their tulips every year. First off be sure the bulbs are dry, then store them in a dry and relatively cool and dark place. Avoid baking hot and/or humid conditions. I suspect under your bed would be fine. Pack them in one layer and use a container such as a cardboard box or paper bag left open to allow for air circulation.

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