The Q&A Archives: Tulip Bulbs

Question: I have some leftover tulip bulbs that did not get planted in time last fall so I put them in my refrigerator. I now planted them in a clay pot (with holes for drainage) hoping they will grow. Is there something special that I should be doing to get them to grow? I believe this is called Forced Tulip Bulbs. I have bought them from Flower Shops before like this. If you don't have an answer, please let me know that also. Maybe I can contact a local greenhouse. Thanking you in advance for your time and service. Barbara Crumb

Answer: I'm glad you planted your tulips! Once they begin to sprout, there's no holding them back. Now that you've planted your bulbs, there's not much else to do; keep the pots watered enough that the soil doesn't dry out. The bulbs will continue to grow and should produce blooms in a few weeks. After the flowers are spent cut the flower stalk down but allow the foliage to ripen on its own. As the leaves yellow they will transport carbohdrates to the bulbs. This energy will be stored in the bulb and will help produce the following year's flower. You can leave the bulbs in the pots after the foliage dies down or you can unpot them and plant them in your garden.

Best wishes with your tulips!

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