The Q&A Archives: Can I save these tulips?

Question: I misstakenly cut down three containers of tulips that I had enjoyed in my home. The bulbs are in the containers with only a nub of stem above the soil level. Can I plant them outside, or do I need to dry them and cool them til Fall and then plant?

Answer: I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but bulbs grown indoors generally do not bloom the following year (most of them are just tossed out and replaced). To compound the problem, bulbs really need their foliage. As it is dying down naturally it is transporting energy to the bulb for the next year's flower display. Cutting the foliage off prematurely will result in less stored energy and reduced ability to bloom. If you still want to try and save the bulbs, allow the soil to dry completely and the remaining foliage to dry out. Then dig the bulbs, brush off the soil, and store them in a cool, dry place until it's time to plant in the fall.

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