tulips - Knowledgebase Question

grand rapids, Mi
Avatar for kristen11116
Question by kristen11116
May 5, 2010
I have a pot of tulips in the front yard, they have lost their petals, but they are still green, i would like to take them out and plant some annuals in the pot, but i want to save the tulip bulbs in an onion bag in the basement so i can put them in the pot for fall, if i take the tulip bulbs out before they've withered on their own, will it harm them? or will they still bloom next spring?

Answer from NGA
May 5, 2010
As long as the foliage is green it is manufacturing and transporting energy back into the bulbs. If you interrupt this process by unpotting or cutting off the leaves, your bulbs won't flower next year. You might be able to remove the entire planting, potting soil and all, and set them in a bucket or other container (without disturbing the roots and the soil) to let them finish their jobs. If so you can reuse the container for your annuals. If not, you really should let the leaves die down on their own before digging and storing the bulbs. Best wishes with your tulips.

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