Planting Tulip Bulbs That Have Already Bloomed
Edward R. Forte
June 20, 2022
bulbs growing in pots add bright color to the home in late winter and early spring. .
What to Do With Tulips After They Bloom?
If you want to be absolutely sure of a good display next season, it’s best to dig them up after blooming and plant fresh bulbs in the fall.Store in trays or nets in a dark, dry place over the summer and replant in them in the fall.Tulips planted in pots and containers will rarely bloom again as they are being grown in a relatively stressed environment. .
Can I Plant My Tulips In The Spring?
This is because they need a good 14 weeks of chilling at between 35 and 50 degrees in order to produce their beautiful flowers —which isn’t helpful if you are eyeing the tulip bulbs that your garden center has on display.In cold climates, you may be able to get tulips to bloom, provided that you get out and plant the bulbs just as soon the ground is soft enough to dig.Every day or two, gradually move the tulip to a sunnier spot until it is receiving full, unfiltered sunlight.In USDA hardiness Zones 7 through 10, the ground may not get down to at least 50 degrees for the 14 weeks that tulips require to bloom.If you want to grow traditional tulips, then you’ll need to dig up the bulbs each fall so that you can chill them in the refrigerator before planting.In Zones 9 and 10, you will almost certainly need to refrigerate tulip bulbs each year to get fresh blooms, no matter which variety you choose.Dig a hole eight to 12 inches deep and place the bulb at the bottom with the pointed top facing upwards.When tulips die back and turn completely yellow in the summer, you can trim away all exposed foliage. .
Can I Plant Potted Forced Bulbs After They Finish Blooming
Buying potted, forced bulbs in the early spring is a great way to reconnect with nature: we celebrate the return of bright colors and flowers to the landscape and rejoice at the start of the growing season.This might be deeper than they were planted in the pot, but don’t worry about burying the bottom part of the stems. .
How To Plant Tulips In The Spring
First and foremost, by planting the bulbs in the fall ground, it helps protect them through the perils of winter.If left out in the elements, tulip bulbs are simply unable to survive the extreme cold.But more importantly, by planting in the autumn soil, the bulbs also have the opportunity to safely chill over the winter.For this very reason, most gardeners assume if you fail to plant tulip bulbs in the fall, spring blooms are impossible.In fact, believe it or not, with just a little bit of help, you can plant your tulip bulbs in the early spring, and still get them to bloom a few weeks later.It is certainly a fact that tulip bulbs require cold climatic conditions to bloom properly.On average, tulip bulbs require around 14 weeks of chill to collect and store all the nutrients they need.As it rests at a cool temperature, it slowly absorbs the food it needs to sprout and eventually flower.If planted when the soil is warm in the spring, they simply don’t have enough nutrients to properly grow.Simply planting bulbs in the early spring will not allow enough time for them to chill and absorb nutrients.That means if you want to plant bulbs during the spring, you need to start the process of chilling in late winter.If you happen to live in a warmer area with no snow pack, or you are in the midst of an unusually warm winter in a cold climate, you can actually still plant your bulbs outside in January or February.As opposed to the other plants, tulip bulbs prefer cold weather, as long as they can be in the ground.Dig your holes to the desired depth, and plant the bulbs in a mix of compost and soil.One great trick for planting tulips during the spring season is to create space in your fridge for the chilling process.Planting your bulbs in nutrient-rich soil and then keeping them in your refrigerator will mirror the outside developmental condition that they need to survive.If you are planting in containers, fill your planters with soil in advance and leave them outdoors or in an unheated garage.This will allow the soil in the pots to stay cooler, and once the bulbs are planted in them, they can continue to absorb nutrients.At least six inches of the hole should be moist as tulips are a big fan of water, but be careful not over-saturate the soil.Slightly and lightly compact the soil as you fill in the hole, and then cover with a bit of straw or mulch.Continue to water to keep the soil moist while the tulips begin to sprout and grow. .
Planting Tulip Bulbs in Winter for Spring Blooms
After doing a little research, I came across a study about planting tulip bulbs on top of the ground and late in the season, done by Cornell University.Researchers found that you can grow gorgeous tulips in only mulch, 2 inches being the optimum depth.They experimented with mulch layers up to six inches deep and determined the two-inch covering (renewed every autumn) produced the largest amount of flowers and the most vigorous plants.If the ground is totally frozen, scatter fertilizer sparingly and over a larger range than normal.If the ground is totally frozen, scatter fertilizer sparingly and over a larger range than normal.If you try this, keep the pots in a cool unheated area with temperatures between 38°F and 50°F (3°C and 10°C)—an attached garage or a home refrigerator often does the job.It’s not uncommon to have a mild winter and find your tulips or daffodils or other spring bulbs are sprouting.It’s possible that a hard frost will affect the buds or leaf tips, but the bulbs should still flower.No matter what, the bulbs are better off giving it a fighting chance in the ground or a chilled pot than wasting away in the garage or cupboard.See our Tulips Growing Guide, as well as Fall Bulbs: Planting for Spring Flowers. .
How to Care for Spring Flower Bulbs After They Bloom
As spring eventually turns to summer, gardeners often wonder what to do about the spent flowers and fading foliage from these spring-blooming bulbs.To ensure a good show of color every spring, it’s best to plant fresh bulbs each fall.Use a garden fork to gently lift the bulbs out of the ground and then put them in your compost pile.Muscari and alliums will also return to bloom again if the soil is well-drained and stays relatively dry during summer and winter.When tulips are planted in heavy soil that holds too much moisture, the bulbs have a tendency to split.Once a tulip bulb has split into two or more sections, it no longer has enough energy to produce a full-size blossom.So, if you want your bulbs to rebloom, it’s important to leave the foliage in place until it has withered and turned yellow.Click here for some recommended bulb and perennial pairings based on field tests at Cornell University.Another option is to plant your bulbs in a dedicated area where you won’t mind seeing the foliage.Alliums and daffodils are ideal for wilder areas where their ripening foliage will be out of sight.It's also possible to dig up your spring bulbs immediately after they finish flowering and replant them – with their foliage still attached – in a holding bed. .