The Q&A Archives: Saving tulip bulbs

Question: I got a terrific price on tulip bulbs and so I purchased over 300. I do not want to plant them as we will be moving over the Winter. Can I save them and how?

Answer: The bulbs you purchased are all primed and ready to bloom in the spring. They must be planted or they will not survive. Since you can't plant them in the ground, the next best thing is to plant them in containers and leave them outdoors where they will be exposed to the elements. Sometimes nurseries have a stockpile of old pots that you can have free for the asking. You can plant your bulbs in potting soil in the pots, leaving about an inch between each bulb. Depending upon the size of the bulbs, plant 3-6 per one-gallon pot, spacing them an inch apart and planting them 2 1/2 times as deep as the diameter of the bulbs. They will sprout and bloom in the spring. After the flowers fade, cut down the flowering stem, but leave the foliage on until it yellows and dies naturally. Then remove the bulbs from the pots and plant them in the garden in your new home.

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