The Q&A Archives: Growing Tulips in the Southeast

Question: I have bought some tulip bulbs and put them in the bottom of my refrigerator. Living in the southeast how do I get tulips to grow?

Answer: Buy tulip bulbs about 12 weeks before you will be planting them. Place bulbs in paper bags and store in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. Choose a sunny or partly shady spot to plant your bulbs. Spread 2-3 inches of organic matter over the bed and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Tulip bulbs should be planted about 2 1/2 times the diameter of the bulb, and spaced 4-6 inches apart. So, if the bulb is two inches wide, plant it about five inches deep. You can add a little bulb food or bonemeal to the hole prior to planting the bulb (which promotes blooms), and then add a layer of mulch to the top of the bed after all the bulbs are planted. Mulch material will help hold down the weeds. Then just wait for spring and the beautiful flowers your new bulbs will produce. Tulips don't always perform well in warm climates the second year, so depending on your conditions, you might treat them as annuals. Good luck!

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