The Q&A Archives: Water Care For Tulips In Containers

Question: Last Fall I planted my tulips in containers and then submerged them in the ground and covered them with mulch. Recently I took them out of the ground and brought them to my sunny porch as their green stems were starting to show. I started watering them because they seemed a little dry. I also removed the mulch. What is the watering schedule for tulips and should I replace the mulch? I live in Northern NJ and so far the wather has been warm but I know winter is not over yet!

Answer: The soil should be slightly moist but not overly soggy or the bulbs will rot. The schedule will depend on the soil you used, the temperature, and how windy it is -- and whether or not it has been raining. You will just have to check the soil with your finger and see. The mulch would possibly help keep the soil moist, but is not a necessity at this point. Its main purpose was to help insulate the bulbs and roots from extreme cold. Bulbs are very cold tolerant but you might keep the mulch handy to cover the tops/buds if a truly cold night threatens -- in say the mid twenties. Remove it promptly the next morning.

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