The Q&A Archives: Tulips and Grape Hyacinth

Question: I have just received my tulip and grape hyacinth bulbs that I ordered. We have already had about 12 inches of snow and I cannot plant my bulbs outdoors. I have planted my bulbs in pots and would like for them to bloom during the Spring season and not earlier. Is this a possibility and what do I have to do in order for them to bloom during the Spring? I do not wish to force them before Spring,

Answer: Since you don't want to force your bulbs to bloom out of season, it would be best to put them outdoors where they will be exposed to the elements. If you can find an unfrozen site (perhaps next to the foundation of your house), you can sink the pots of bulbs into the soil where they will winter over and begin to grow in the spring. If you can't find a suitable place outdoors, store them in the coolest, darkest place you can find. (33F - 50F is ideal) Tulips will need about 20 weeks of cold before blooming and grape hyacinths only require about 12 weeks of cold. Hope this helps!

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