The Q&A Archives: Watering tulips

Question: I love tulips, but know nothing about them. My husband just gave me some beautiful purple tulips for valentines and I want to keep them alive. Please help me take care of them. I don't know how often to water them.

Answer: Diana,

Unfortunately tulips don't last a long time. They bloom and then drop the petals. Tulips do not naturalize and repeat bloom the next year well in the south. They are better treated as annuals, set out in early January for late winter/spring bloom. If you want to try to save the bulb, keep it in the pot and put it outside where it can get good sunlight. Keep it watered until the foliage turns yellow and dies back naturally. Then dig it up and store the bulb in a dry, well-aerated place until fall. In fall place the bulb in the refrigerator for a couple of months and then remove it for planting in early January.

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