The Q&A Archives: Growing Tulips In July

Question: My daughter is planning her wedding for July 29, 2000. She would love to have white tulips for her bouquet. Is there any way to keep the bulbs in cold storage, or something, to delay blooming until July? We have been told that it will be difficult if not impossible to get the commercially. Thank you for your help.

Answer: If you can find the bulbs, you may be able to keep them dormant and force them for July, but you must realize that it will be a risk.

Once you have the bulbs, keep them in a cool, dry place until time to begin forcing. Be sure to have extras because some may rot and some may begin to sprout. Count backwards on a calendar to determine when you should begin the forcing process by potting them up.

After potting them up, tall tulips will require about three to four weeks of 50 degree cold storage to begin root production and then eleven to twelve weeks of 35-40 degrees. At this point they should be showing some shoot growth and you can bring them out into warmth and light. They should begin flowering in about a month.

As you can tell, the entire process is not very definitive, and it is all dependent on your specific conditions. It is virtually impossible to time it to the week, much less the day. If you still want to give it a try, please have some back-up flowers. And good luck!

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