The Q&A Archives: Container Bulb Care

Question: After reading that tulip bulbs should really be treated as annuals and that container planting was an option, I planted my tulips in a container and placed them in my garage for the winter. They have started to grow - should I take them outside now, despite the possibility of frost? What do I do after they have bloomed? Do I need to discard them or can they be salvaged for container planting next year. If so, how do I salvage them?

Answer: Your containers of tulips should be taken outdoors now so they can bloom on schedule. You might want to just sink the pots into the ground, to give the roots and bulbs a little protection from a hard freeze. Early spring bulb leaves contain a natural anti-freeze so if the weather is too cold, they'll stop growing, but they should be just fine in the weather. When temperatures warm up, they'll begin growing again. After they've finished blooming, let the leaves die down naturally and then dig t

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