Planting Tulips in the Spring? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Susan Sherwood
Wayland, MA
Question by sherwoodjm
April 8, 1998
I have some tulip bulbs left over from last year, when I didn't get around to planting them. I would like to plant them now (when the other bulbs are up so that I can see how best to place them). Or should I store them over the summer and put them in the ground in the autumn? If the latter, how should I best store them over the summer?


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Answer from NGA
April 8, 1998

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Isn't that annoying? I've done that a few times I'm ashamed to admit! However, that's neither here nor there. No, I wouldn't hold them over until fall. Chances are they just wouldn't make it since they've already been out of the ground for a number of months. If you plant them now however, they'll at least have a bit of a chance of surviving. I'm surprised they made it this far! Plant them as you would in the fall, feeding and watering them well. What have you got to lose? The worst that happens is that you won't see them as tulips again...but at least they'll be composted right there in the ground. You could also try to store them in a dry, warm place (like your attic) if they look really healthy. In this case you also need to be concerned with mice and squirrels getting into them. Remember to tag your trays so you know what you've got. And mark your calendar for fall planting!

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