Tulip Seed Germination Techniques - Knowledgebase Question

Robbinsdale, MN
Question by delong9
August 4, 1998
I have some tulip seeds which were collected from plants which bloomed this past spring. Are there any special techniques which need to be used to get them to germinate (e.g., a cold storage period, etc.)? So far, they have been reticent to show any sign of germinating.

Answer from NGA
August 4, 1998


Very few folks grow tulip from seed, it is an intense project. Seed from tulip is harvested from seed capsules (pods) after the bloom and the foliage have withered and browned. Seeds can be sown in February in a cold frame using light, sandy soil. Seedlings will appear in March-April. It is very important to leave the seedlings where they are given adequate winter protection until the following autumn (18 months after sowing). Seedlings may then be planted outside the cold frame in rich, light soil. Do not expect flowers until the plant is 4-6 years old.

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