Forcing Tulips - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for jimhennegan
Question by jimhennegan
January 1, 1998
My small greenhouse is used for forcing tulips. I have been heating the greenhouse enough to keep the developing plants from freezing at night. One night last year I accidentally left a fully-grown-budded pan of Attila-tulips (bud not opened) outside thegreenhouse. The whole plant (big buds and all) froze stiff over night. AND..then the whole plant thawed out completely and not-a-wit of damage. It went on to bloom perfectly!!! Question? So why am I heating this greenhouse?

Answer from NGA
January 1, 1998
Occasionally bulbs are up and then frozen when grown in the soil. Generally this does not harm them. I often have a hard freeze after the bulbs are up and budded or even blooming. So I'm not surprised that they survived and bloomed happily.

As far as heating the greenhouse: You were forcing the bulbs to bloom earlier than their natural blooming time and needed the heat in order to speed up their blooming. If you'd rather not do that, forget heating the greenhouse and let them flower naturally in the spring. However, I don't think that's your intention.

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