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Where to buy tulip bulbs: Burpee Gardening

Long live the tulip! We can buy tulip bulbs in virtually all colors, including a purple so deep that it looks black. And by planting a selection of varieties of this perennial, we can enjoy their beauty from early spring through early summer.

Tulips do best in areas with dry summers and cold winters. The brightly colored, upright flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups, bowls, and goblets to more complex forms. They are excellent in beds and borders; many types are good for forcing into bloom indoors, and most are excellent for cut flowers.

Although tulips are a perennial, many gardeners treat them as annuals, to be planted anew each year. The North American climate and soil can't replicate the ancient Anatolian and southern Russian conditions of their birth. Gardeners in our western mountain regions come closest to this climate.

Proud Tulips

A winter's Sun on Dutch tulips.

See how to grow tulips!

Karen Oudeman

Botanical Name: 


Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Bloom Time: 


  • Nature never intended for bulbs to loll about above ground, so don't delay planting the bulbs after purchase.
  • Plant tulip bulbs in the fall, 6 to 8 weeks before a hard frost is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F. (See our frost charts.) This timing ranges from early autumn (Zone 4) to late autumn (warmer zones).
  • In southern climates with mild winters, you need to buy pre-chilled bulbs or chill them yourself in the refrigerator for about 12 weeks before planting. 
  • Tulips prefer a site with full or afternoon sun. In Zones 7 and 8, choose a shady site or one with morning sun only.
  • All tulips dislike excessive moisture. Ideally, the soil is well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic, fertile, and dry or sandy.
  • Rainy summers, irrigation systems, and wet soil are death to tulips. Never deliberately water a bulb bed. Wet soil leads to fungus and disease and can rot bulbs. Add shredded pine bark, sand, or anything to foster swift drainage.
  • You'll want to space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart, so choose an appropriate plot size.
  • To deter mice and moles—if they have been a problem—put holly or any other thorny leaves in the planting holes. Some gardeners use kitty litter or crushed gravel.
  • If ravenous rodents are a real problem, you may need to take stronger measures, such as planting bulbs in a cage of wire.
  • Plant bulbs deep—at least 8 inches, measuring from the base of the bulb. And that means digging even deeper, to loosen the soil and allow for drainage, or creating raised beds. Remember, the bigger the bulb, the deeper the hole it needs.
  • Set the bulb in the hole with the pointy end up. Cover with soil and press soil firmly.
  • Water bulbs right after planting. Although they can't bear wet feet, bulbs need water to trigger growth.
  • If you're planning to raise perennial tulips, feed them when you plant them in the fall. Bulbs are their own complete storage system and contain all of the nutrients they need for one year. Use organic material, compost, or a balanced time-release bulb food.


  • Water tulips during dry spells in the fall; otherwise, do not water.
  • Compost annually.
  • Deadhead tulips after flowering.
  • Allow the foliage to yellow for about 6 weeks after flowering before removing it.
  • The bulbs of Species tulips may be left in the ground for several years; others may be lifted annually, once the leaves have died down, and ripened in a warm, dry place.
  • Replant the largest bulbs; smaller bulbs may be grown in containers in a bulb frame, in mix of equal parts loam, leaf mold, and sharp sand. When in growth, water moderately, applying a balanced liquid fertilizer weekly for 3 or 4 weeks after flowering; keep dry in summer, and repot annually.


Wit & Wisdom

  • Did you know: If you dig up a tulip bulb in midsummer, it's not the same bulb you planted last fall. It's her daughter. Even while the tulip is blossoming, the bulb is dividing for the next generation.
  • To get the longest vase life, cut tulip stems diagonally, then wrap the upper two-thirds of the flowers in a funnel of newspaper and stand them in cool water for an hour or two. Then, recut the stems and the tulips will last at least a week.
  • In 17th-century Holland, the new tulip was such the rage and fashion that a handful of bulbs was worth about $44,000.

Credit: Karen Oudeman


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Tulips lost their red stripe

We moved to a house where the previous owner had planted Halley's Comet type tulips (yellow with red stripes). They bloomed beautifully for a number of years but now, over the last two years, they seemed to have lost their red stripe and the yellow is not as vivid. Is there a way to bring back the red/yellow coloring or do I need to plant new bulbs? Is there a way to prevent this from happening again, if I plant new bulbs? Thank you!

Tulip bulbs dug up accidentally

About 4 years ago, I planted several tulip bulbs. They have not come up for the past two years. While digging in my flower garden, I accidentally dug up about 25 bulbs, which appear to not be rotted, but have not rooted either and have not sprouted. Can I just replant them now and see if they make it? I realize they won't bloom this year, but am just wondering if this would be worth the effort. I live in zone 4.

tulips never grew

This is a real mystery …  You are in a cold zone; they should have got the chill they need. It’s a puzzle but if they do not appear to have deteriorated, try them again, sure.

Tulips for center piece

My tulips bloomed about one week ago. They still look nice - and I'm hoping to use them next week for a center piece for my daughters first communion party. Will they last longer in the ground or should I cut them and follow the steps for putting them in a vase?

Tulips did not bloom

I planted tulip bulbs given to me by my sister who brought them from the Netherlands. I planted them in planters on my deck in the fall. This spring the tulips leaves did emerge, but no tulips. When can I remove the bulbs and replant in another location? I am guessing they weren't planted deep enough? Can I plant them now or do I need to wait until fall and dig them up then? Thank you!

why tulips did not bloom

Tulips usually grow unless a rodent got to the bulbs or the bulbs rotted in the ground. In your case, if the tulips grew with leaves and without blooms, then the usual cause is how the bulbs were sourced or stored. In the future, the only way to know this is to cut a bulb in half longitudinally to make sure the flower bud is alive, not brown or dried. 

Tulip bulbs given as hydroponic gift

I received beautiful pink tulips in a hydroponic vase for Easter. Now that they have finished flowering, can I continue to grow them the regular way and how?

hydroponic tulips

All of the sources that we consulted suggest that bulbs that have been forced in water (grown hydroponically) do no have the strength to live again. They are best discarded. If you want in-ground tulips, purchase and plant them in the fall (this, assuming you live in an area that has winter conditions for at least a couple of months).

bulbs grown in a vase

I bought a pot of tulips that were growing in a vase. The tulips are spent and the foliage is brown but I'm not sure of what to do with the bulbs. Sacramento winters rarely get cold, and on the rare occasions that we are cold it only lasts a few days. Suggestions?

I bought tulip bulbs from

I bought tulip bulbs from schippol airport shop. I planted those in the container . I live in Jakarta Indonesia. After 2 days, the bulbs is growing fasted. Hopefully it can be growed and flowering. But I turn on all day and night my Air Conditioner at 20_22 degree celcius. How low should I keep the room temperatur for the better life of tulip bulbs? My room is at west side. That means rich of sunshine. Thank you.


I planted about 100 tulips a few years ago. They came up beautifully, but soon after, all the flowers were eaten by deer. Since then, all that comes up are the green leaves, but no flower. Anything I can do?

Add some compost or a

Add some compost or a balanced time-release bulb food to the soil. Let the foliage die back naturally. If the bulbs have been in the ground a few years you may need to dig them up and divide them.

Tulips tips of the leaves are turning pink

I planted some Fringe Tulips for my May Birthday and they were green and lovely in April but after a cold spell I brought them because they were in a container. One bloomed inside my house but the others were still growing. I put them back outside and the tips of the leaves have been turning all sorts of shades of pink and purple but now flower yet. Should I stay patient to see if a flower pops out soon or does it seem the up and down temperatures put too much stress on the flowers.

do i pull tulips that have

do i pull tulips that have leaves but no flower---many with a single leaf? thanks. john

I want know what to do after

I want know what to do after they stop flowing , I have a small pot given to me and I also need to replant

Put the container outdoors

Put the container outdoors after the blooms have faded and keep the soil moist. When the leaves turn yellow you can plant the tulips in the ground. If you have cool winters (tulip bulbs need a chilling period) they may bloom again next spring.


My tulips this were very leggy and had very few flowers,when can I remove them from the ground,most have leaves but no flowers

i have a co-worker who wants

i have a co-worker who wants to know if tulip bulbs can be left in the ground or do they have to come out

growing tulips

That’s actually an interesting question. It depends on the tulip bulb. Some tulips are perennials (the smaller species types) and come back each year while others (large types) need to be replanted every few years. Many gardeners treat their tulips as annuals, planting new bulbs each fall, especially if it’s a hybrid variety (as many are). Either way, let the tulips leaves yellow and die back naturally first.


I received two beautiful tulips for Easter and they have finished flowering, Can I plant them now or should I wait until fall?

Tulips that have been forced

Tulips that have been forced to bloom at a certain time may be difficult to get to rebloom but you can give it a try. Put the container outdoors after the blooms have faded and keep the soil moist. When the leaves turn yellow you can plant the tulips in the ground. If you have cool winters (tulip bulbs need a chilling period) they may bloom again next spring.


Hi, this is my first year trying to grow tulips. I noticed just today that my tulips have pushed through the ground - we are expecting frost tonight - well a low of( -13C) will they survive? Do I need to cover them?
thank you.

I was given tulips in a pot

I was given tulips in a pot as a gift. I live in Florida and we tend to have wet springs and summers, rain storms almost every afternoon. How would I care for the bulbs after the blooms and foliage die?

Tulips in Florida

last week got two pots full of blooming tulips ~ once they have finished blooming and have died back do i leave them in the soil in the pot? remove and wrap in newspaper? store in dark cool place indoors? and refrigerate in october/november ? it is so hot during the summer here and where they would be planted they would get watered i believe too much and probably rot. florida, i know not ideal for growing tulips.
any help would be great. thank you !


Hi. I just pot a pot of Tulips from Lowes yesterday. There are no flowers bloomed yet just green leaves. Can I plant them this week-end? Will they bloom or do I need to wait till next spring to see them bloom?
Help!! I'm not a gardener this is my first garden and plant!!

Enjoy your tulips in the pot.

Enjoy your tulips in the pot. When they are done blooming and the leaves start turning yellow plant them in full sun or in a spot that gets afternoon sun.

planting tulips

I bought some tulips in pots , some are blooming some are not. Should I plant them now or wait until they stop bloomimg.?
Should I plant them in shade or full sun?

Enjoy your tulips in the pot.

Enjoy your tulips in the pot. When they are done blooming and the leaves start turning yellow plant them in full sun or in a spot that gets afternoon sun.


I live in Buffalo,NY and I have some new tulips
just coming up. We may get some snow the first of April. Should I cover my tulip sprouts?

Hi John,

Hi John,


You do not need to cover the tulips. They will survive any spring snows.


I planted some tulips someone gave me as a gift. I covered them up with a board and a brick. Three weeks ago I took the board and brick off. I see my neighbors tulips stem have already came through the dirt. My stems have not. What can I do beside wait?


Hi, Sonya: Much of this depends on how deep you (and your neighbor) planted and what was going on underneath your board. The first thing to do is examine your bulbs and make sure they haven’t been eaten by something or rotted. You may find, too, that the stems were forced to grow sideways, in which case you could try gently turning the bulbs. If all seems well, you could try removing a little soil from the top. Beyond that: patience. Your soil does not necessarily have the same characteristics/temp as your neighbor’s. Thanks for asking!

Tulips as gift in vase of water

I received tulips as a gift in a vase of water. Will they blossom if I replant it for next year? I live in Minnsota. I do not have a green thumb, so lots of help & advice would be great.
Thank you.


Hi, Alison: Sorry, tulips must grow from bulbs and not cuttings. But do keep asking questions, as we all have to start somewhere!

Daffodils, tulips

I bought my daffodils and tulips from lowes and when i took them out the bucket, there was a root system all around the plant. I loosened it up and stuck it and the ground. And 2 weeks later they're dying. Will they come back. What do I need to do?


Hi, Starshima: It sounds like your tulips have just run their course, as they are not a very long-lived bloom. Let them die back fully before removing the aboveground parts, then stayed tuned for even more next year. Thanks for asking!

Tulip planting

I have two pot of tulips with flowers. Spring has started at Michigan but the weather is still cold. Should I plant them right now ?

If your tulips are blooming

If your tulips are blooming we suggest that you leave them in the pots until the flowers fade and the foliage starts to turn yellow. You can then plant the bulbs in the garden and hopefully they will bloom again next spring in your garden.

I received about 15 Dutch

I received about 15 Dutch bulbs last year and planted it last fall. We just left them indoors and not in direct sun light. About a month ago they started to come out. Largest is about 12cm now. To be honest I don't know much about gardening but I do like plants and flowers and growing things out of seeds. Lets see how these tulips work out. Thanks for the tips, didn't know about the newspaper funnel and cold water trick.


Last fall I planted alot of tulips I had purchased at Tulip Festival in Holland Michigan.
My hubby made approx an 8x8 raised bed specifically for me to plant these in. It has two tiers-bottom tier is about 6-8 inches high, add about 6more inches for the top one. Daffodils I planted are just starting to come up, but not one tulip. Tomorrow is St. Patricks day and I am concerned. Other tulips elsewhere in our yard
are up and getting taller seemingly on a daily basis. Drainage is good, but moles are running rampant this year-tunnels are around base of bed, but i cannot see where they might have dug themselves under it and ate my bulbs. Forgot what types I purchased, but I did get a Darwin breed. What could have happened? Am I jumping the gun b/c they are not up yet? Any advice is much appreciated.

New home

We recently bought a new home in Wisconsin that has a tulip bed in the backyard. We have never grown or cared for tulips before. The bed is covered in old flower stems and other weeds. Should we clean up the bed and remove all of the decaying material? Is it OK to walk on the bed, because we don't know where the actual flowers are located? We also want to put a fence around the bed, and possibly chicken wire above it to prevent squirrels and rabbits from eating them. Please provide advice. Thanks.

Hi Scott,

Hi Scott,

You can rake up the decaying plants but don’t dig into the soil yet. Wait for the tulips to grow and bloom this spring and then do the major cleanup. You may want to dig the bulbs after the foliage has died back and replant the bulbs. You can put some gravel or chicken wire around the bulbs in the soil to discourage voles and squirrels to dig and eat the bulbs. You may not need to put a fence up. See our page about fall planted bulbs at www.almanac.com/content/growing-guide-fall-planted-bulbs.

replanting bulbs that have bloomed

It has been years since I have tried to replant the bulbs. Am I correct in removing them from the pot to a brown bag for the summer season to replant in the fall? I am in Texas. Thank you for any information you can give me.

Every Mother's Day a local

Every Mother's Day a local company gives away freshly dug up daffodils and tulips. Can I plant them right away or should I wait until fall? I live in the St. Louis, MO area.

Red tulip plant

My oldest son gave me a pot with six bulbs at least when he was visiting from England on the 19th of February,the flowers have died and the leaves are all turning yellow not sure how to tend to the plant ,how and what should I do at this point

what to do with bulbs

You can keep the bulbs in the pot and let the foliage die back. When the outdoor soil warms up and you can dig a hole transplant the bulbs to the garden.


Got a pot of tulips, they're finished blooming, how do I transfer them to the ground this time of year, I'm assuming as I would in the fall, and hope to see them next spring?

You can keep the bulbs in the

You can keep the bulbs in the pot and let the foliage die back. When the outdoor soil warms up and you can dig a hole transplant the bulbs to the garden.


I have tulip bulbs in my fridge. I live in Waco Tx and we haven't had a cold winter. If I plant the bulbs now, should they do ok?

How do I store tulip bulbs in

How do I store tulip bulbs in Phoenix, Arizona? Can I plant them for the rest of the year or will it be to hot? How much moisture will they need? Thank you.

Needs help with Tulips

I received a pot of Tulips for Valentines. I live in South Alabama. The tops are now dead. What do I do with them in order to replant and have flowers again next year? Thanks for your help!

Tulip bulbs

I have new tulip bulbs in my garage all winter. What can I do with them?

bulbs stored in the garage

Tulips are spring-blooming bulbs, Linda. They are meant to be planted in the fall/auturmn, at least before th ground freezes, so they can “pop” in spring. Having kept yours in the garage all winter—not in soil, it sounds like—your options may be limited. Are they still firm, solid, not feeling soft or dried out? You can, quick and in a hurry, plant them and water them and see if they grow. If it was cold enough in the garage, you might “fool” them into blooming. Mark or remember where you plant them…and wait a year. There is a long shot chance that they might bloom next spring. There is not much else to do with them.

Tulips and Daffodils coming up early!

I have inherited two flower beds that mostly have tulips in them, there are some daffodils too. I seen this morning that both are coming up, usually thay come up between mid March and early April. I live in west central Illinois. The weather is cool by day and it frost over at night. Should I cover thim at night or not and hope they will survive?


can i plant tulips in the spring

Too many leaves.

Last year i had 10 huge beautiful red tulips in my Vancouver condo,after the leaves died I dug them up and stored them in a dark place, I planted the bulbs late in the fall,now I have dozens of leaves coming up all over my small plot,there seems to be no sign of flowers..what shall I do?? Will they ever bloom??


I was given some tulip bulbs that were dug up by the City, and were going to be thrown in the dump. I wanted to salvage them for my own yard, but what do I do? I realized tulip bulbs are usually planted in the fall so is there a way to store them until the fall, or can I plant them now and hope for the best? What should I do?

Hi Dianne,

Hi Dianne,

Where these bulbs dug up in the fall or recently? If they were in the ground over the winter months you should be able to plant them now and hopefully have some blooms this spring. If they were dug up earlier you can still plant them but they may not bloom this year.

White tulips turning yellow

I was given some white tulips about 4 days ago and they were nice and green with 2 white flowers. I see another bulb sprouting and a flower appearing in another sprouted bulb but the 2 flowers that were already there are turning yellow. What's going on with them? I just moved them to a bigger pot with fertilizer. Should I leave them or place them back in the original pot? I also placed them outside and I live in south texas. Please help I don't want to kill them.

white Tulips

Probably the PH of the soil in the new Pot you planted them is higher sometimes that affects the colors of the flowers even after blooming I had some that were Pink and my husband dumped coffee close to them and later they turned red wine color ... they survived no worries but they changed color they will go back to the original color if they get non acid soil

Planting tulip pallada in pots now, i live in Georgia. Is it to

Is it too late to plant tulip pallada in pots in Georgia.

It is too late. The tulips

It is too late. The tulips require at least eight weeks of chilly conditions through the winter months in order to bloom in spring.

I live in south east Texas, I

I live in south east Texas, I want to plant tulips that are in pots and blooming now. The area that I live in is very wet and the bed gets only morning sun. Will this work or should I plant in a large pot?

Tulips tend to rot in wet

Tulips tend to rot in wet soil. If you can not fix the drainage (such as adding sand) then pots are the way to go!


I RECEIVED A POT OF BLOOMING TULIPS WITH A NOTE TO PLANT AND WATCH THEM BLOOM AGAIN (LIKE A NEW BEGINNING). The blooms are dead and I'm wondering how to store the bulbs for future planting. I live in Southeast Missouri and I know they need some cold temps now before they can be replanted. Any suggestions?

Place the pot in an unheated

Place the pot in an unheated garage or place it outside covered with a towel or tarp if you still have freezing temps at night. You can also put the bulbs in a paper bag and store them in the refrigerator for a period of time. Depeding on the variety you have the bulbs need 9 to 14 weeks of chilling.


My planter fell an broke but bulbs didnt

Hi my name is mark i live in Sacramento Ca, an i have about 6 tulips an they just started braking out of the soil about 1 inch but the planter fell an broke an the bulbs were on the ground, would i be able to replant them or is the roots done?

You can check the bulbs and

You can check the bulbs and see if they still have some roots attached. If they do you can plant them in a new container with fresh moist soil.


I bought bulb growing in water. They bloomed and are now dead. Should I now plant them in dirt? In Las Vegas. Thank you.

bulb in water . . .

We probably would not plant these. It’s already nearly the end of January. The bulb would need a nice rest, including a chill period (think of the normal cycle: plant in fall, it enjoys a chill in winter, then begins to grow in spring. In all likelihood, there is not time in the calendar (in Las Vegas) for it to go through it’s cycle. You could try…if the bulb is not all mushy from the water…but keep your expectations in check. Displays such as yours in water are usually meant for a single performance. In the fall, buy a bag of bulbs to plant and you will have a flower show in spring 2017.

Too Early?

I bought bulbs in Sept/October and kept them in the fridge until last week. I potted the bulbs (a few were sprouting) last week. The plants have already broken the surface with beautiful leaves :). It has been rainy and chilly (New Orleans). Should I try to find a dark place for them or just see what happens? I am assuming from these posts that this may be too early.


Where can I buy "already refrigerated" bulbs. I was unable to buy them to refrigerate this year but would like to plant the bulbs for Easter. I live in Texas and have planted tulips for many years. I find early February to be a good time for our fickle weather. Thanks j

bulbs for forcing

We can not recommend any particular vendors, but they exist. Do this: Search on the web (through Google, Bing, or other such web site) for “bulbs for forcing” or a variation such as “nurseries that sell tulip bulbs for forcing.” Several nurseries come up. Click into the web sites and you can contact individual vendors about purchasing the bulbs you want.


I received a vase of about a dozen blooming tulips for Christmas. The vase has a divider has little feet that keeps the bulbs out of the water & the roots are growing in the water. I need help! What can I do with the tulips now? Can they be put in a pot(s)? If so, what type of potting soil? When can they be put in the ground? I live in zone 7b (North Carolina). We have had an extensive amount of rain this month & the ground is saturated w/water. HELP!

Christmas tulips

Your tulips may have a second life…or they may not. Fora couple of reasons:

• Tulips are usually spring-blooming bulbs. Yours were probably forced to bloom in order to be available as gifts at this time.

• Tulips need a period of cold weather in order to bloom. If your area tends to have a period of freezing or near-freezing weather, you could plant the bulbs in the ground and see what happens. It’s unlikely these bulbs would rebloom this spring; they need a dormancy period. You might see some foliage and never see a bloom; it’s hard to tell. Remember, the bulbs were “forced” to perform outside of their natural cycle. Getting back on cycle may be difficult.

• Even if you plant the bulbs in a container, they need a period of cold weather. Containers are more risky than inground planting, however, because some containers, even those with holes, hold more rain water than the ground would naturally disperse. Thus the bulbs run the risk of rotting in a container.

• If you want to plant the bulbs in saturated ground, wait until the rain dissipates and the ground dries.

The important thing to remember here is that these tulips were a gift that you enjoyed when they were at their best.


I, too, received tulips in

I, too, received tulips in water and want to know what I can do to keep the spent (but still viable) bulbs. Unfortunately, the posted answer did not address the answer--although it did provide extra helpful info. Do I plant the bulbs in soil in a pot and put them in a cool, dark place (like my PA basement) for 6-8 weeks, or should I just plant them where I want them to (hopefully) bloom next year? Thanks!

Let the foliage die back and

Let the foliage die back and then dry the bulbs on newspapaer for about a week. Then plant them in the garden and they will hopefully bloom next spring.

Amsterdam tulips

I bought tulip bulbs from Amsterdam in Sept.
Its now Dec 10 in Denver and we are buying a new house, so I've been saving them for new place. Can I still plant them or is it too late? And/or can I save them for next year? And, how should I store them?

In Denver, spring-flowering

In Denver, spring-flowering bulbs are usually planted around mid- to late September through October. This gives them enough time to establish roots before winter. Now that it is December, it would be best to store the bulbs in a cool, dark, dry area, such as a garage or dry cellar (make sure the location won’t encounter freezing temperatures – or hungry rodents). Pack healthy bulbs in a cardboard box or paper bag, separating layers with newspaper. Do not let bulbs touch each other. Check for rot periodically and discard diseased bulbs.

We live in Indiana, we just

We live in Indiana, we just planted 200 darwin hybrid tulip bulbs, the instructions said about 2 inches deep, i saw in other places they require hole depth of as much as 8-9"? will we have any problems since they are relatively close to the surface in the mulch beds? they are practically in the mulch, the two inch hole did reach the ground underneath,,

Darwin hybrid tulips usually

Darwin hybrid tulips usually need to be planted at least 6 inches deep. We suspect that your tulips will be lovely next year, but you may want to dig them up and plant deeper after the leaves die in the spring.

timing tulip bloom

There is going to be a wedding at my house on april 23rd. We would like to have as many tulips blooming as possible on that date. I live just south of Sacramento California. I bought the bulbs towards the end of October and immediately put them in the fridge. When should I put them in the ground and pots, as I will be doing both.

Hi Annie! I have been

Hi Annie! I have been thinking about your question since last night and I think you are taking a huge gamble by supplying your own flowers for a wedding. Mother nature is fickle and can't be counted on. I would STRONGLY suggest getting your flowers from a reputable florist in your area or online. I plant tulips here in the fall and they do not bloom until mid May. I am in zone 4. Tulips require a long, cold dormant period. That being said I would search bulb forcing on youtube for tips on this subject. If you want to risk it I would think planting them in your area (zone 9/10) in late Feb. thru mid March would be your target times. As you can see this is a fairly large window of time and anybody telling you exactly when you should plant would be guessing. You could speak with someone knowledgeable on bulbs locally to get a better idea. A local greenhouse would be a great place to start!

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Tulips coming up already.

I've just planted over 200 tulip bulbs in October now they are sprouting and are about 2 to 3 inches high. What should I do just leave them and will they come up in the spring.

Tulips grown in a container

I live in New Jersey and a few weeks ago I planted tulip bulbs in a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage. I didn't water the bulbs and left the pot in my dark garage until temperatures consistently fell under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It won't do that until next week (after Thanksgiving.) Once I put it on my deck and start watering it, do I need to bring it indoors every time it goes below 32 degrees?

Tulips need a dormant cold

Tulips need a dormant cold period during the winter months. Leave the pot in an unheated garage or shed during winter and put the pot on your deck when temp. start warming up in March, April. No need to bring the pot indoors if the temps. drop below freezing.

Thanks. I am still wondering

Thanks. I am still wondering what to do in the initial planting period, the first 6-8 weeks after the bulbs are planted. I know that tulips planted in the ground are OK when temperatures drop below freezing, but what about tulip bulbs in a pot? Will they still germinate if they are exposed to freezing temperatures? Or should I put the pot in my garage overnight? I am definitely planning on keeping the pot in the garage later this winter.

when is too late to plant

I received tulip and crocus bulbs in the mail from the Arbor Foundation. I live in northern Kentucky. Is it too late to plant them now?

Hi Marcheta,

Hi Marcheta,

If the soil is still soft and you can dig holes for the bulbs it’s not too late.


So am I correct in thinking I should plant my bulbs in San Antonio, Texas in November and dig them up after they bloom in the spring then keep them in the refrigerator and replant again in the fall?

We recommend that you chill

We recommend that you chill the bulbs for about 8 weeks before planting. If you put the bulbs in the fridge in mid-November they will be ready to plant in mid January and you can expect blooms in mid to late March.  You can dig the bulbs after the tops turn yellow or brown. Put the bulbs in a cool, dark, dry place over the summer and early fall months. Then start the process again with the chilling and planting.

Darwin Hybrid Tulip

I currently purchased Darwin Hybrid Tulips from Walmart. The package say that the bulbs are an annual and only bloom once. I saw a past comment saying that Darwin tulips bulbs are a perennial and do well in the South (where I thrive in). Now Im just really confused. Are they an annual or a perennial?

We suspect your package has

We suspect your package has the wrong information on it. Darwin Hybrid Tulips are perennials.

I bought bulbs from

I bought bulbs from Amsterdam.

I wan t to plant them in a coastal city Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The winter is cold but not much frost. winter temperature ranges from

I want to know when is best time to plant these bulbs and how to care for them.

Your article has given me much help . thanks so much.

B. Singh

i bought tulip bulbs (75) at

i bought tulip bulbs (75) at Low's .
When do I plant it?
I live zone 7.

October is a great time to

October is a great time to plant tulip bulbs.

Will tulips be viable in zone

Will tulips be viable in zone 9 with a cooling period in a refrigerater. Also, what tulip species looks more beautiful for next spring,, 'Color Cardinal', 'Christmas Marvel' or 'Kikomachi, All of which bloom in early spring.

Yes, you do need to put

Yes, you do need to put traditional (Dutch) tulip bulbs in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks (in a paper bag) before planting in zones 8 to 10. But most of the smaller species tulips do not need chilling and can grow in warmer climates. We like Christmas Marvel which blooms in the early spring and fits zone 9. It has a bright cherry pink color which is sure to brighten your garden.

Will Christmas Marvel need

Will Christmas Marvel need refrigeration to thrive in zone 9, or will they be as is

Yes, it's best to chill the

Yes, it's best to chill the bulbs before planting in Zone 9.

Can you plant black eyed

Can you plant black eyed susans on top of tulip bulbs for summer coverage?

Partnering spring bulbs with

Partnering spring bulbs with perennials or even annuals is a great way to hide their unsightly foliage as it matures. Rudbeckia is a good choice!

I tried this method!I got

I tried this method!I got awesome results!I'm a scientist from the United States!A young scientist.I have a big garden!

I live in Puerto Rico and

I live in Puerto Rico and just returned from a trip to Chicago. There they had pulled tullip bulbs from the Millenium Park. I picked up a few. I dont know if I should store them in a bag until Novemberand then put them in the fridge several weeks before planting or just plant them now and see what happens.

I have tulip bulbs that

I have tulip bulbs that originated in Holland, but have been growing here in upstate NY. When my mother in law passed, they were dug up and placed in paper bag about five years now. They have been in dark dry place downstairs. Can I still plant these this fall and will they still grow? They were beautiful and very tall.

I got to pots of tulips for

I got to pots of tulips for mother's day now they look like they are died. I live texas and it's really wet right now. Do I plant them or weight?

At this point, you would let

At this point, you would let the tulip's foliage die down from green to yellow. Don't remove the green foliage. Once died back, strip off the foliage and keep the bulbs in the soil. Find a cool location in your house to store the pot.
If these bulbs are the regular "Holland" type, you will need to "chill" them in Texas. For about 6 to 8 weeks before you plant the bulbs, put them in a mesh (not paper) bag in the refrigerator. Do not store apples at this time. So, if you put the bulbs in the fridge in mid-November they would be ready to plant in mid January and you could expect blooms in mid to late March. 
Plant the bulbs in a place with morning sun and avoid the hot afternoon sun in Texas. The soil can not be soggy where you plant. Plant the bulbs 6 inches deep. Water them well.

We bought an assortment of

We bought an assortment of tulip bulbs when we were in Holland last year. They were shipped to us in time for fall planting at our home in southeastern Pennsylvania.

This spring the tulips came up as expected, but none of them bloomed.

Any ideas or thoughts about what went wrong?

It might be a number of

It might be a number of things. Make sure the soil contains the proper nutrients for your bulbs. Check if the bulbs are planted at the right depth, and that they are in full sun. Make sure that they have good drainage. It is perhaps also possible that the varieties that you have are the late-spring blooming tulips. If so, depending on variety and your climate, it could be that these will bloom in the next few weeks.

I had to dig up a flower bed

I had to dig up a flower bed in May which included several tulip bulbs. What should I do with them? Should I refrigerate them until fall or plant them now in their new location? I live in Western North Carolina.

Hello, I couldn't find a

Hello, I couldn't find a question related to mine. 2 years ago I planted tulip bulbs, apparently from reading above I must have planted to early. I think I might have in spring or summer, I've just learned this year to plant in fall! I was planting for same year not the next!! But, I just get a little green foliage, no bloom. Squirrels dig in my garden no matter what I try it seems! But surprisingly there were still about 8 bulbs, ( only 2 have foliaged) I just dug them up and potted them I thought maybe they just weren't doing well in my bed. But, should I dry them out and fridge rate them and try to plant again in the fall?;

If you don't have cold

If you don't have cold winters you need to put the bulbs in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks. Let the bulbs dry out before placing them in the fridge.

We received a pot with about

We received a pot with about 15 tulips this year...they have since died and we saved the bulbs.......can I put them in the ground now ( mid may) and leave them there to bloom next spring?..I see daffodil spring up in the same place every year would these tulips do the same?
we live on Long Island if that help answer this thread

Put the bulbs in a paper bag

Put the bulbs in a paper bag and store them in a cool, dark place over the summer months. Plant the bulbs in the fall for bloom next spring.

moving from Connecticut to

moving from Connecticut to Myrtle Beach South Carolina. would like to dig up tulip hyacinth daffodil and iris bulbs for planting at my new home. my plan was to dig each up after they flower and the leaves start to turn Brown however I will not be able to replant them until the end of till August which will be 3 months. therefore should I dig the bulbs up put them in a pot with the soil and then plant them in the fall in South Carolina? Or should I dig them up after they finish blooming dry off the bulbs and keep them refrigerated in brown bag for 3 months?
thank you so much for your assistance Mary Beth

It's probably wise to dig up

It's probably wise to dig up the bulbs and keep them in some "home" soil, Mary Beth, so that they have more proper conditions in which to go dormant. The planting schedule is a bit later than you propose; August may be too early. See the Clemson University site for more on all of the bulbs you mention and more, with specfics on South Carolina: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/flowers/hgic1155.html

So i was preparing flower

So i was preparing flower pots and found an odd plant in the old pots, I dug all bulbs up before realizing they were tulips. Some were a little beat up some were still good shape. I replanted them and left a second pot holding bulbs to grow. there seems to be 15 bulbs in each pot. Any tips on caring for them and replanting the old bulbs? I live in Wasilla Alaska and have no flower smarts. (including tulips)

Tulips are very forgiving.

Tulips are very forgiving. What you need to remember though is in the spring, after they bloom, do not cut back the leaves. Let them turn yellow and die. Then you can dig up the bulbs and put them where you want them to grow next year.

Our landscaping company at

Our landscaping company at work, dug up all the old tulip bulbs and we were able to take as many home as we like. The stems are still attached to the bulbs. How do I care for them and when should plant them? I live in St. Louis. Thanks

Plant them where you want

Plant them where you want them to grow. After the tulips bloom, do not cut back the leaves. Let them turn yellow and die.

My neighbors dug up most of

My neighbors dug up most of their tulips, daffodils and irises last month and set them aside in a bucket. They have been rained on and the water didn't drain so now the roots and greenery have rotted, however the bulbs and tubulars look clean and are still firm. Can these be dried out and either replanted or stored for next year, or are they a complete loss? I hate to see any plant thrown away and I'm willing to try to salvage them if they can be saved.

Hi, Indigo, We can't say for

Hi, Indigo,
We can't say for certain but there may be a good chance that the bulbs and tubers will survive if dried out. Go through the motions, including replanting, and see what happens next spring. That's the only way to know ...

I am resident of India on

I am resident of India on West coast. I would like to learn and study short time courses on commercial production and cultivation of Tulips in India and also explore the possibilities of technical support I can get for production and sale of flowers in Europe, USA etc. can you suggest something. Thanx.

Hello, I don't know how fast

I don't know how fast can you help me in this.
I live in Amman-Jordan. My friend got me two tulip bulbs. And I am wondering if I can plant them now, spring is almost over here (there's no actual spring in Jordan) and the temperature is rising fast. Is it safe to plant them now? Otherwise what should I do?
I hope you can help me fast, I'm clueless. They are in a plastic bag and I don't know for how long have they been there and in what environment.
Thank you in advance for all the help you can offer

Were the bulbs from a local

Were the bulbs from a local retailer? Depending on the variety, some might do better than others. You might ask a garden center in your area for best advice. As far as I know, tulips require a period of cold to form roots and flower. I'm not sure if your climate gets cool enough in the winter to provide this requirement. However, you can instead place the bulbs in the refrigerator for several weeks before planting. Some storebought bulbs may have already had the prechilling treatment done and are set to plant (you might check the package, if they came in one).
The following sites talk a little about cold treatment for bulbs:
If you'd rather not have a bulb in the refrigerator for weeks or months, you might just want to plant them and see what happens. Or, you might try forcing them for indoor bloom (provide artificial conditions that trigger them to bloom early). For more information, see:
If you want to further research tulips and which climates they can grow in, here is a handy site the tells one the average temperatures in Amman for each month, as well as length of daylight, average precipitation, etc.:
Good luck!

Simply Question hopefully a

Simply Question hopefully a simple answer. First off, I live in Chicago Zone 5). I have many tulips that only come up with ONE leaf. Some are really oversized, but still only one.

How do I correct this from happening again next year?

Thanks for any information provided.

Perhaps they were planted too

Perhaps they were planted too deep, or planted upside down? Make sure that they have enough sunlight and soil nutrients and leave the foliage on the plants to brown and die naturally at the end of their growing season, so that the bulbs will have enough energy next year. Check for damage to the bulbs, which can sometimes happen during transplanting or via animals. Sometimes, if they were just planted, it will take them another year to establish, and may develop more leaves that following year. Hope this helps!

I gave a friend a vase of

I gave a friend a vase of Tulips that I bought at a local store, but they were in water with their roots instead of soil. She lost her husband, and the flowers were so beautiful that she will like them to bloom again every year about the time of her lost. Should the bulbs be dried first? If so how? then I assume is the same procedure explained before, storage in a bag, then put in the fridge til next fall to be plant? Please let me know. We live in Miami, Fl. Thank you in advance for your help.

It sounds as if these tulip

It sounds as if these tulip blooms were "forced" in water. We do not generally plant forced bulbs; we buy new bulbs, however you can keep it watered and wait until the leaves wither and yellow. Then cut off everything, dry off the bulb, and store in a paper bag. Since you live in a warm climate, you should place the bag in the fridge for 12 to 15 weeks as these bulbs need proper "chill' time. 
Plant in the ground in late fall. You won't be able to "force" again since their first year's growth was "forced" and they will probably need several years recuperation in the garden before they bloom again.
Since she lives in Florida, it may be best to simply force new bulbs each year in remembrance!

I live in Scotland. A couple

I live in Scotland. A couple of days ago I bought potted tulips at a garden centre. I brought them home, put them in another pot and they have all fallen over. What is the cause of this and is there anything I can do?

can you leave bulb of tulips

can you leave bulb of tulips in ground year round

Most tulips bloom in the

Most tulips bloom in the spring. These bulbs are cold-hardy and they can be left in the ground year-round.  If you have summer-blooming bulbs, they you can leave them the ground if you live in a warm climate but you need to dig them up if you live in a cold climate.

I just got a purple and red

I just got a purple and red tulips as a plant and am wondering how to care for them. They are already have bloomed and the soil is still a bit damp. Please reply asap. I don't want them to die as they are so pretty. Thanks for your quick response.

Tulips have one flower per

Tulips have one flower per bulb. When the flower is done blooming, you can "deadhead" the bloom but don't cut the leaves. Continue to water the plant and keep the soil moist--and let the leaves die back naturally. The tulips will return next spring! Every few years, you need to dig up the bulbs and divide. See above for more information.

Several years ago, I planted

Several years ago, I planted tulip bulbs with no results. Once again, I planted tulip bulbs in the fall. Once again, I've not gotten any flowers. I do have one bulb that has sprouted foliage. I live in Zone 6 in southern West Virginia. I am so frustrated and wondering what I am doing wrong.

Hi Cynthia, You may have some

Hi Cynthia,
You may have some critters that eat or move your bulbs. Plant the bulbs in containers or add some gravel or use chicken wire in the planting hole if you plant the bulbs in the ground.

How many flowers per tulip is

How many flowers per tulip is it only one and that it?

Usually, tulips grow one

Usually, tulips grow one flower per bulb. 

Can you please describe how

Can you please describe how to use the chicken wire in this application?

To protect bulbs, just lay

To protect bulbs, just lay chicken wire or any wide wire mesh on top of the bed after you plant the bulb. Extend the surface about 3 feet from the plantings, then stake it down.

Do I need to remove the

Do I need to remove the chicken wire in the spring when bulbs sprout so they can grow and bloom?

As the staff stated, most

As the staff stated, most likely your tulip bulbs were eaten by chipmunks. My new technique to combat the chipmunks is to spray the bulbs with RoPel (or another brand of rodent repellent) before planting. It appears to have worked wonderfully with the bulbs that I planted last fall & winter. The other possibility is that the spot where you planted your bulbs was water-logged over the winter and the bulbs rotted. Tulip bulbs must have adequate drainage to avoid rot. I have had good results digging the bed down to about 15 inches deep where I intend to plant tulips, and filling it halfway up with a mixture of sand, compost and ordinary soil before planting the bulbs.

Hello, I purchased some

I purchased some tulips that were in a "water" vase. Now the leaves are starting to brown, however there are new sprouts from the bulbs. I live in Florida so we do not have your typical "winter". What should I do with them next?

Hello...I do not know how

Hello...I do not know how often you responds to these emails...I really need some advice. My brother built me an above ground planting area. In Nov. I planted about 200 bulbs: Iris Crocus, Daffodil, Tulips, and Hyacinths. I live in Joshua Tree Ca and we have had some days in the 90's already, and now it's back to the 70's. I had 3 daffodils and 2 tulips bloom, but they looked pretty sickly. I have some tulips that stated blooming, and just had yellow, brownish leaves.

My main question is SPECIFICALLY when to water the bulbs and flowers? It is possible I have over watered or under watered at one time or another. I use a water meter that says the soil is moist, but when I put a spade into the soil, it comes out dry.

I have searched and searched for details on watering flower bulbs and flowers. I really am discouraged, and at a loss! Can you help??

Hi Char, Most bulbs need

Hi Char,

Most bulbs need well-drained soil. Bulbs don't like standing water, especially during the spring thaw. Be careful not to overwater your flowers.
Most bulbs also need full sun, at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sun daily. For best flowering, 8 to 10 hours of sun is recommended.
Spring bulbs need cold freezing temperatures during the winter to bloom.

I was just given a Easter

I was just given a Easter gift of Tulips that are just starting to bloom. they are in a glass vase with no dirt and water just at the bottom of the roots. Do I leave them like this until fall? If not how do I store them or when do I plant them.

After the flowers fade you

After the flowers fade you can plant the bulbs in a pot or in the garden if you like. If you live in a warm climate you can remove the bulbs from the pot/garden after the leaves turn brown and put them in a paper bag and place in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks before planting them in soil again.

I purchased potted tulips and

I purchased potted tulips and they look beautiful. They are starting to fall apart although I have watered them. I would like to plant them outside. I live in NJ. Can I plant them outside now? It's April.

Hi Terry, Yes, you can plant

Hi Terry,
Yes, you can plant them outside now and hopefully they will come back next bring with beautiful flowers.

I planted tulips several

I planted tulips several years ago, they grow good but the plants have never bloomed. Why? Am I not doing something right? They are in great soil partial shade.

Can tulips be planted in the

Can tulips be planted in the spring? If so, will they bloom that same year?

Yes they can be planted but

Yes they can be planted but no they wont flower.mthey will only grow to about 7cm in height but no flower.
Best to plant in autumn and then u will have flowers in springg

I live in Garden Grve Ca and

I live in Garden Grve Ca and I bought tulips in Iowa. They told us to plant them any time after late Dec. when it is 60 degrees or cooler. It has not been cool enough to plant and they are in my refrigerator. Is it too late to plant now? If so how do I store them??


They will not likely last

They will not likely last until next fall in your refrigerator unless they are well protected from dessication. Better to plant them now and see what they do rather than store them for many more months and then have to throw them out. They have had enough of a "cold period" in your refrigerator already -- actually much more than needed. So they may still bloom when planted in soil.

Couldn't find a question

Couldn't find a question related to mine, so I have to ask for your valuable advice.
I live in Italy, CENTRAL APPENINE. Planted more than a 100 tulip bulbs from Holland in 2013. Everything is going fine except that they changed color last year.
In this Spring's growth I can see that the bulbs have multiplied and I don't know whether to leave them like that or if it is perentory to divide them.
Thank you very much!

The bulbs you now have in the

The bulbs you now have in the ground are the children of the bulbs you planted the year earlier. They may have cross polinated with others tulips when they were in flower last year and the color is changinng to the dominate color in the new bulbs. In my garden my bulbs have mostly changed to red. I don't know is red is always the dominate color but in my garden that seems to be the case.

Hello, I live in California

Hello, I live in California (Antelope Valley ) and my mom and I bought some tulips from Wal-Mart, they had already bloomed, I planted them in the front yard, it's only been a day and some of them are becoming limp and their petals are drying out. Could it be too much watering or the hot sun? What should I do?

Hi, Zoey, It's normal for

Hi, Zoey, It's normal for plants to wilt a bit, or rest, when transplanted; being uprooted and moved, they have gone through a shock of sorts and have to become adjusted to their new environment. Given that they were probably "forced" for bloom for sale (that's common, too), the sun and water and new surroundings were all too much.
If you expected to buy blooms and move them from a pot into the ground and have them stand up as they did in the pot—that's just not going to happen for almost any plant.
Ideally, you should enjoy the bulbs in the pot, allow them to die back, and then plant the blubs in the fall. If you have a cold winter (tulips need a cold period), they stand a pretty good chance of blooming in the ground the following spring.
Right now, there is nothing you can do. Just leave the bulbs in the ground. Maybe you can buy another pot and try again...?

Hello I planted tulips in a

I planted tulips in a pot and put it in my celler for 9 weeks, and now they are starting to grow, some of them are little some of them are tall. What should i do now? i brought them to my apartment. Is that the correct time? and also i do not know how should i water them.
Please advice me.
Thank you

Hi Nomin. If the tulips have

Hi Nomin.
If the tulips have started to grow it is a good time to bring them into a cool room with windows. Hopefully you'll have some blooms before long.

I was given 3 pots of tupips

I was given 3 pots of tupips in full bloom in January. Do I keep them watered (inside) to keep them in bloom? After they loose their bloom do I take the bulbs out of the pots and place in cool basement until I can plant in the Fall? I live in the state of Kentucky.

Hi Brenda, Yes, keep the pots

Hi Brenda,
Yes, keep the pots indoors and water if soil is dry. After they are done blooming let the leaves turn yellow before taking the bulbs out of the pots and storing in a cool dark place until fall.

I live in Northern Ohio and

I live in Northern Ohio and have planted 600 tulip bulbs this last week. If I were to dig them up after the proper fading and yellowing of the leaves next spring how should I store them? I don't have a basement. My garage is not attached and 90 degrees plus may happen 5 times each summer. Is storage inside my 75 degree air conditioned house adequate? Thanks in advance.

Hi Jim, Why don't you just

Hi Jim,
Why don't you just leave the bulbs in the ground after they bloom? If you do dig up the bulbs they should be stored somewhere cool and airy. It is important air can circulate around the bulb until planting next autumn. 75 degrees is a little bit too warm for storage.

I was concerned about

I was concerned about watering some top planted flowers. I'll go with Ivy on top and skip the digging since cool and dry isn't available. Thanks!

So, I'm from Brazil and it's

So, I'm from Brazil and it's summer now. I traveled to the Netherlands in late September and bought some bulbs. Since I didn't know what to do, I left the bulbs on a pot since middle October (spring), when the roots started growing (4"). Then I planted them 15cm. (all in the fridge). Now I can see them out of the ground (3") but I don't know what to do, if they will die if I leave them outside the fridge (there's no way to keep them there anymore) because it's summer now (not like Germanys summer). Also, I found a white fungus on one of them. What should I do?? Do they will die?? Help me pleeaaase!!!

I don't know if this question

I don't know if this question has already been asked/answered in the comments or not, but can you freeze tulip bulbs instead of refrigerating? or will that kill them?

It's recommended to store

It's recommended to store tulip bulbs in the refrigerator and not in the freezer.

My friend in Holland sent me

My friend in Holland sent me a bag of tulips. I have never planted them before. I live in San Diego. Should I refrigerate the bulbs until Thanksgiving?

Hi! I live in New Delhi-

I live in New Delhi- India, with summer temperature up to 47*c (117F) and Lowest winter up to 4*C (40F). Can I grow tulip in container and how the bulbs could be stored during summer?
Is it required to chill the bulbs before planting?

Will tulips bloom in Delhi

Will tulips bloom in Delhi

Based on the information

Based on the information gathered by me, I am sure it will bloom in Delhi if planted in peak winter.

I am trying to find bulbs in Delhi but not found yet even online.

Hi you can find the bulb at

Hi you can find the bulb at Garden blossom located in CSC market kaka nagar opp. golf course near Khan market metro station & Gaeden glory located in Safdurjung enclave.


Hey..Im based in Mumbai. Mild

Hey..Im based in Mumbai. Mild winters, hot summers, lotsa rain...Probably the worst weather for tulips. I planned to plant tulips in Aug last year. Got some purple Triumph and Black Parrot bulbs frm Amsterdam..and refrigerated them till Dec. Then planted them in Christmas in a quick draining bed. Rgt now have the black parrots blooming. So to answer ur question, yes it shld be def possible to plant them in Delhi's dryer and cooler weather.

I live in New Jersey, about

I live in New Jersey, about an hour outside New York.
Last year I bought a bunch of tulip bulbs and got all of three blooms... they were a sight for sore eyes.

When the leaves withered in June, I replanted them in a pot and stored in my garage.
Now it will be October, there is no sign of life above the soil, so I don't know their condition.
What should I do now?

You can leave them in the pot

You can leave them in the pot and keep them in a cold shed or garage. The bulbs need the freezing temps during the winter months to produce flowers in the spring. Or, you can plant the bulbs in your garden. Discard any bulbs that are mushy or soft.

We are in Australia and put

We are in Australia and put them in the fridge in paper bags until about 6 weeks before we want them to flower (we take them out of the fridge 6 weeks before the first week of Spring and then they flower every time). Putting them in the fridge mimics their native cold winter environment. If you store them in the fridge, do not put any onions in the fridge with them because they will stop the bulbs from flowering.

How wide does a pack of 20

How wide does a pack of 20 bulbs of tulip a grow?

It really depends if you're

It really depends if you're planting the bulbs in a straight row or a grove or how you wish to plant. Plant tulip bulbs about 3 to 6 inches apart.

Purchased 60 tulip bulbs from

Purchased 60 tulip bulbs from lowes today. Live in northern Indiana. I know it's a bit early to plant them now so how do I store them until late September?

how to store tulips bought in

how to store tulips bought in august?

Put them in a cardboard box

Put them in a cardboard box or paper bag and store in a cool dry location until it's time to plant them.

I live in Gold Canyon,

I live in Gold Canyon, Arizona a suburb of Phoenix. Is it too hot in central Arizona to plant tulip bulbs?

Yes, bulbs are usually

Yes, bulbs are usually planted in late fall in the Phoenix area. Prepare the soil in October and plant tulip bulbs middle of November.  Remember: in your area, you need to chill the bulbs in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks ahead of time; store in a paper sack.

I live in Houston, Texas, and

I live in Houston, Texas, and have recently acquired 100 tulip bulbs from Amsterdam. It is August here and still very hot. What do I need to do with my tulips until planting time? when is planting time? From what I am reading, I can place them in the refrigerator to chill them until December and then plant. Is this your advice?

Keep them in a brown paper

Keep them in a brown paper bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Don't store them with any fruit because fruit can release gas that will harm the bulbs. Plant the bulbs after Thanksgiving but before Christmas.

For those of us in the South,

For those of us in the South, or in an RV, look for a bulb company that will pre-chill your bulbs for you for a fee. it is my understanding that if you put them in a refrigerator with ripening fruit, the gases given off by the fruit damage/kill the bulbs. has anyone else heard of this? Also, does anyone from the South have a purple tulip variety that does well for them with pre-chilling? my supplier tells me purple does not do well here.

In the South, Darwin Tulips

In the South, Darwin Tulips do well, blooming in late March and early April. There is a deep violet variety, 'The Bishop.' As you said, tulips in the south require pre-chilling (for 45 to 60 days prior to planting). Plant right after you remove from cold storage in December or early January.

I live in zone 7-8 in

I live in zone 7-8 in Georgia, If I read and understand your comment above, My tulip bulbs should be refrigerated and planted before Christmas? Is this correct? Thank You in advance.

Hey there Aliza! I read your

Hey there Aliza! I read your comment about tulips in an RV. We are getting ready to full time In ours with a base camp in north Carolina and Florida. I grow my own herbs. I really can't imagine not being able to cook without fresh herbs. Have you been Successful at growing herbs or any other edibles in your rv? My husband is stongly suggesting the aero garden for herbs, lettuce and tomato......

Purchased tulips in very late

Purchased tulips in very late spring, just found them unplanted, and it is May 30th! If I plant them now will they come back next year?

I went to the tulip festival

I went to the tulip festival in Holland, I bought purple tulips at the stand it didn't look like they had bloomed yet. I brought them back to England and planted them in a pot with potting soil along with the sand they came in. And they looked like they were budding to bloom and they haven't and know they look like they are dying what am I doing wrong?

You may not be doing anything

You may not be doing anything wrong. Some flower varieties are finicky. I had an Amaryllis bulb that did the same thing. It took two years to bloom...but when it did, it was beautiful, and came back each year. Nature is smart. If there is something wrong with a blossom, it may not bloom. Just be patient. Check your bulbs, throw away any mushy ones, make sure you've left enough space for them to grow. You could also try poking a few holes in the outside of the pot to promote more circulation. Make sure that when watering, the soil should be damp, not wet.

I moved into my 1st home and

I moved into my 1st home and live in Illinois. So I know nothing about landscaping. Their are two tulip plants in front of the home. They get plenty of sunshine. They bloom into these beautiful flowers but don't last long at all. Like a month. Then the petals fall and the leaves start turning yellow. Are tulips longevity only a month? Do they re-bloom? I did notice a slug in the dirt when I was cleaning out the weeds.

That's as long as mine last.

That's as long as mine last. Then they come up again the next year - if the chipmunks don't find them!

Slugs can be good for

Slugs can be good for gardens. The mucus they leave behind carries nutrients that help certain plants. If you're worried about it, you could try mixing in just a bit of table salt with the soil. But if you use too much, it could kill your plants.

Hello. I live in Ontario

Hello. I live in Ontario Canada. Each year I plant tulips, as the chipmunks get the bulbs after a year. I learned to live with that, but this year I have a new and very aggravating problem. The ones I planted all came up, but something is eating the actual flowers! Each day it seems there are less. The flower stock looks like it has been hit with a weed wacker. Any idea what would do this and how to stop it?

I would guess your tulips are

I would guess your tulips are being eaten by deer during the night. I live in northern Wisconsin, in a rural area, and deer just LOVE tulips! It can help to spray them with an egg & water solution (3 eggs, beaten to 1 gallon water) However it must be reapplied after a rain, and if it rains during the night, bye-bye tulips for this year. They'll come back next year,so do deer!

Thanks so much. That is

Thanks so much. That is possible. We live in a rural area with lots of woods around. We seldom see deer, but every once in a while we spot one while driving at night so I know they are around. Must be coming out and munching at night. They seem to far prefer the red ones to the pink. Next year I will plant only pink and give your egg spray a try.

I've seen this before. If

I've seen this before. If there is wildlife around your area, they may be taking a liking to the flowers. Deer especially love bright flowers. I've found that spritzing the petals and stalks with cinnamon water helps. They don't like the taste, and will stay away. It isn't harmful to the plants, scabs can promote pollination. Try a mixture of 4 tablespoons cinnamon, and two or three cups water. Or, you can sprinkle dry cinnamon directly on the blossoms. The water helps it stick, though.

I had some large early

I had some large early blooming tulips that only had a leaf show up this year. Could they be planted too deep? Others bloomed.
Thank you!

I just wanted to say Thank

I just wanted to say Thank You for all your posts. I recently adopted a flower bed at a park and the person last year had tulips in the bed. I went to pull the weeds this weekend and had no clue what to do with all the tulip leaves that had no flower on them. So I left them but now I know what to do. This is a great web site.

I may have missed the

I may have missed the question, so I'm sorry for the repetition if so...
I live in southern Maine and I LOVE tulips, but would hate to plant them every year... Do you think could I treat them as a normal perennial and not dig them up?

Yes. You have the absolutely

Yes. You have the absolutely most perfect climate for tulips, so the only reason why they would not come back year after year would be pests: chipmunks, squirrels, or voles/mice. I dust mine with scented foot powder like you get at the grocery store before planting; sometimes also cayenne pepper. Be on the lookout for evidence of tunnels by which the chipmunks / moles/ voles might try to access the bulbs, which they perceive of as candy.

Some people plant vinca minor, pachysandra or other tough ground covers atop the bed after planting tulip bulbs. I don't have any vinca but I have noticed that once the pachysandra grows in over the tulips bulbs, the bulbs are pretty safe.

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much!

Can I replant tulip bulbs

Can I replant tulip bulbs that have little orange spots on them? Of all the ones I planted, 3/4th of them have these spots. They were new when I planted last fall and bloomed beautifully. Would love some advise before adding bulb dust and storing them.
Portland, Oregon

Thanks for the tip we will

Thanks for the tip we will try and see!

i live in virginia. Can i

i live in virginia. Can i plant tulips bulbs now?

The short answer is that your

The short answer is that your choice is to plant the bulbs now or to throw them into the compost heap later, because they are not likely to last until planting time (October-November) for bulbs that will be dug up in June or July of this year.

Where did you get these bulbs? Are they ones that the grower harvested last summer? If so, the well-known saying "better late than even later" applies.

I received some tulip and

I received some tulip and daffodil bulbs for xmas this year so was not able to plant them before the first frost since I live in Iowa. I kept them in our cool dark basement over the winter and was wondering if I could plant them now or wait til fall?

Plant them NOW! These bulbs

Plant them NOW! These bulbs have like an internal clock that tells them when it's time to grow. They have been out of dirt for too long to be left that way any longer. Probably they have already tried to grow roots and generate foliage, using up the little bit of moisture that was stored in the bulb. If they have any chance at survival, it would be to get in the ground and start taking up water and nutrients to flourish again.

Depending on how cold your basement gets, there's a chance that they got enough of a chill that they will produce some bloom. But if not, it's still better to plant them and let the foliage come up so that there can be something in the bulbs for next year.

If you wait until fall to plant them, I doubt that they will even be alive. Possibly the daffodils, which are relatively tough, but certainly not the tulips. And I would be astounded if even the daffodils didn't send out roots, looking for that chance for life, well before the fall.

my tulips do not flower. They

my tulips do not flower. They come up everyone year and the leaves are nice and green but no flowers. Can you tell me why? I live in Conn.

(A) Are you sure that they

(A) Are you sure that they are tulips? Some people confuse hostas with tulips, since the greenery appears at the same time and can look somewhat similar. If the foliage dies back by about the end of May, they could be tulips. If it stays green through the summer, they definitely are NOT tulips.

(B) The lack of flowering is baffling. Without question you have a could enough winter in Connecticut, so the "chill" period is not an issue. How much sun do they get? Tulips grown in dense shade seldom set many blooms. Is the area where they grow occupied by dense tree roots? Tulips have a hard time competing with the roots of a mature maple or beech tree.

C) If you have very poor soil and the tulips have never been fertilized, that could limit bloom. It doesn't do much good to fertilize at the surface. This year once the foliage dies back, you might try digging them up, storing them in a cool garage or basement over the summer, and adding fertilizer to the holes in the fall before replanting them.

Specific Tulip Problem... I

Specific Tulip Problem... I tried to read all of the comments but there were so many, and of what I did read I didn't see any that related to my problem. So I hope that by asking specifically, someone may be able to help:

I bought a pot of tulips (the majority of which had already bloomed) at a Rite aid/CVS type store with the intention to plant them in larger pots on my balcony. I planted them in organic miracle grow brand soil that I added "Jobes Organics Granular Fertilizer" to, which has 2.0% nitrogen (0.8% water soluble, 1.2% insoluble), and 7.0% Phosphate.

I planted them at the same depth as they were in the pots, then watered the soil. I haven't watered them since. I live in Brooklyn, NY. The spot they are in receives ample sunlight (South SW facing balcony getting sun from about noon to about 6pm daily).

I planted 3 individuals in the same pot as a Canna lily I got last year (all about 6 inches away from each other), and the other 3 in a pot with 3 hyacinths (also about 6 inches away from each other).

It has been about 3-4 weeks since planting and over time some parts of the stems and leaves of the tulips have begun turning red/purple at the bases and tips, the leaves are shriveling/curling, and in the plants that weren't yet flowering, no sign of blooming is visible.

I am wondering if I either have the wrong kind of soil (texture & drainage), an imbalance of pH (but as yet I don't have a test kit to measure it), they are getting too much sun, too much wind, or some other problem I don't know how to identify. It has rained a around 3 or 4 times since I planted them but the pots are under something of an awning, so the rainwater doesn't pour on them unless the wind sets the rain at an angle. And the hyacinths are doing fine in their pot (flowering already passed but leaves are still green and absorbing nutrients for next year).

I am wondering if I should try to remove part of the soil and replace with something more sandy. Or perhaps these particular tulips don't require such full sun so are stressed from that. The soil is somewhat damp to the touch as of right now, so maybe the drainage isn't adequate. But honestly I haven't tried to garden in years and could really use some specific guidance related to my particular situation. If you can help, or point me in a direction of help, I'd really appreciate it! (I can also send a picture of what they look like if that helps anyone understand the problem). In any case, thank you!

i think your right

i think your right

They are finished for the

They are finished for the year. Leave them and they may come up next year.

I live in southeast Texas

I live in southeast Texas will tulips grow down here?

So does my #3 son (south of

So does my #3 son (south of Houston). Sadly, it's not a good location for tulips. You would have to refrigerate the bulbs to simulate a "winter," in order to prompt blooming, and the you would need to lift them during the summer to avoid rot.

It's a tradeoff. I love hibiscus mandevilla and have six of each of them that I bring inside and baby during the winter. In contrast, my son leaves his out all year long. If they get a little frosted, as they did this past winter, it represents some involuntary pruning, and they come back. You have it easy with hibiscus, palms, orchids, citrus and other semi-tropical plants, but if you want to put in the effort you can have tulips like we in the "Nawth" can have semi-tropicals if we work at it.

I live in southeast Texas

I live in southeast Texas will tulips grow down here?

I meant hisbiscus "and"

I meant hisbiscus "and" mandevilla.

See also, for best results, my comments in response to other posters about giving the tulip bulbs a simulated "fall" to promote root growth before the big chill of the refrigerator hits them.

This basically involves starting them in pots or trays and putting those in the fridge, complete with dirt. If you don't have that much refrigerator room, maybe there's a work-around like washing the dirt off the roots prior to refrigeration. I haven't tried that so I can't guarantee results. However, around New Years I got a bunch of hyacinth bulbs at the end of season closeout special. I set them in a big plastic storage tub in the cool garage on top of about 2 inches of soil/compost. Didn't put anything on top of them. Then I got busy with other things. When I went to check on them about five weeks later, they had grown thick roots about five inches long - so much so that the root growth had lifted them way above the soil base!

I imagine that if I had laid them in the refrigerator with the roots wrapped in wet paper towels, they would have been fine. The original plan was to plant them in the ground once rooting was under way. Unfortunately, be February my dirt was frozen solid about 8 inches deep. So instead, I put them in soil in ten or twelve inch pots and set the pots in the cold frame. Some were transferred to normal garden beds when the thaw finally occurred, in late March, while others are still in the pots. Enjoying beautiful, fragrant hyacinth blooms from both of those right now!

Basically I followed the same drill with a couple of hundred closeout tulips, except that the cursed chipmunks invaded my cold frame and stole about a third of the tulips for munchies. I didn't mark the pots to indicate which ones had foot powder and which ones didn't, so I'm not 100% sure whether that was the determinative factor, but I plan on bringing more firepower to the fight next winter. If nature would cooperate and freeze the top six inches of the ground immediately AFTER I plant the tulips (as it did in February 2013), that would help.

Live in Las Vegas, Nv....have

Live in Las Vegas, Nv....have tulips in pot, blooms blew off in high winds ; should I deadhead now, wait for leaves to yellow...and then what? Do I leave in pot during hot summer months and should the bulbs be refrigerated before planting in Fall?

Yes, deadhead now, put the

Yes, deadhead now, put the pots where they can get morning sun and decent water, and let the leaves turn yellow. Then inspect to see what you have. If the bulbs are just babies it will take another year to get any bloom. If they are an inch and a half or more in diameter, you should have some 2015 bloom IF they get at least six weeks of chill (temp below 50 degrees and preferably below 45). But longer-term survivability is compromised unless they have a period to grow roots prior to that chill period. In the wild and in cooler climates, this is sparked by the return of rain in the fall and cooler temperatures. I don't know whether you could manage to give them that root-development stimulus or not. A refrigerator is too cold. Typical Las Vegas weather in January would be good, provided they get water, but then you would have somewhat limited time to impose the "chill" (here's where the stint in the refrigerator would come in).

An easier solution might be simply to give the bulbs to friends in Oregon, Idaho or Utah, and buy new potted ones for next spring in LV.

Hello, I recently bought some

I recently bought some tulip bulbs from Keukenhof gardens in Netherlands and plan to plant them once I get back to New York state (around May). Could I get directions as to when and how to plant and preserve them for the next coming years?

These are bulbs that

These are bulbs that Keukenhof would have dug up in the summer of 2013??? If so, I would be surprised if they hadn't already tried to sprout.

I live in Santa Fe New

I live in Santa Fe New Mexico. I just recently moved into a new house and I love tulips and would like to plant some. Should I wait until closer to Fall to buy bulbs, or should I buy some now and store them. I have never had tulips before so I am new to them and have no idea how to care or handle them. Any advice or information I get I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

I doubt that it's even

I doubt that it's even possible to buy tulip bulbs now, unless someone is bringing them in from Chile or New Zealand where the summer is just past. Definitely wait until August or September to acquire 2014-crop bulbs and plant them as soon as is convenient.

Santa Fe is a great location for growing tulips as the climate is similar to their native habitat. Just follow the general recommendations that the Almanac staff has posted on this site and you should be in good shape.

Probably the most important single thing you should do when planting is to put some fertilizer in the soil beneath the bulbs that has adequate phosphate and not too much nitrogen -- unless your soil is already naturally high in phosphate. The reason for caution is that if the phosphate concentration is too high, it binds with the zinc and manganese in the soil, depriving the plant of these micro-nutrients.

I mention the need for phosphate fertilizer in this context because phosphate doesn't migrate down through the soil (unlike nitrogen). So this is your one and only chance to place that fertilizer in the tulips' root zone -- unless you dig them up next summer. The reasons for digging tulips up after the foliage has withered do not apply to the cool, dry climate of Santa Fe.

There's also the matter of rodent pests, but I don't have time to go into detail on that here. You could read my other posts on that subject.... I may post an update some time. I learned a new trick the other day from "Joyce," a local gardener who has been quite successful at protecting her tulips from the ravages of the local squirrel and chipmunk populations.

I live in Chicago and our

I live in Chicago and our tulips are planted on the East side where they get morning sun. We always had most of them come up year after year. But this year I noticed only a fraction of the tulips came through; some only have wide leaves, but no buds. We had a a very cold winter with a lot of snow and thought that tulips love that kind of weather. We had them covered with evergreen boughs in case of squirrels. Do you know what could have happened.

Just a guess, but do you have

Just a guess, but do you have chipmunks in your neighborhood? Chipmunks can and do dig tunnels to reach their favorite "candy" -- tulip bulbs. They would not be deterred by a few evergreen boughs.

If you have a warm spell and

If you have a warm spell and they come up, then a very cold spell they will not bloom that year.

I live in Memphis, Tn and we

I live in Memphis, Tn and we have four distinct seasons with the summer being quite hot and humid. I planted 50 red tulips this past fall and had the prettiest tulips over the past few weeks. The blooms are now gone. I thought that I had to wait for the leaves to die and turn yellow - wait about six weeks and then place the bulbs in cool shed. Do I need to dig them up? They are in a bed that gets part shade that allso has a sprinkling system that we run 15 minutes, 3 times a week. I would like to leave them in the bed. What can I plant next to them that will cover up the tulip yellowing leaves and hide them?

As indicated by the general

As indicated by the general advice given by the staff at the top of this page, tulips prefer to spend the summer in a cool, dry, dark place like the soil of the Anatolian mountains where they grow wild. I have some that I leave in the ground and others that I dig up. Some tulips on my north-facing shady hillside just bloomed again -- as they have done every year for 25 years, without ever having been dug up. On the other hand, of the roughly four dozen beautiful yellow tulips that we planted in a low-lying portion of our lot at the same time, zero survived more than a few years. We would have done better to have dug them up for the summer -- and then to have elevated the bed by at least a foot before replanting them.

You could try leaving yours in the ground and hope for zero rainfall -- as that thrice-weekly sprinkling by itself won't rot them unless your soil doesn't drain well. But from what I know of Memphis in the summertime, you are bound to get some drenching rains. So it's probably a question of how well drained the beds where you planted them are.

I live in Michigan. We

I live in Michigan. We planted to lick bulbs inside of some planters at the end of November. we were able to put some of the planters into the ground however there was a number of planters that did not make it into the ground. we did watered all of them right after planting. The ones that did not make it into the ground my husband covered up with a tarp. About a week or two later we took the tarp off. Now the bulbs we planted that are inside the planters that made it into the ground are starting to sprout however the bulbs that are inside the planters aboveground have yet to show any sign of life. my husband did water the ones that show no sign of life a few weeks ago. He also irrated some of the soil to give it some air as well as make it easier for the plant to grow. Do you have any suggestions of what we can do at this point to help the bulbs grow?

Tulip bulbs have enough

Tulip bulbs have enough "antifreeze" in them to be able to withstand some rather cold temperatures, but I suspect that the brutality of the Michigan winter just past may have been too much for the ones that were in the above-ground planters and therefore more exposed to the extremely cold air temperatures. If they're dead, they're dead. No amount of watering will bring them back - in fact overwatering is harmful. Dig some of them up and examine them. If there are no roots and no yellowish-green shoots, they are dead. Next time try planting them in late September or early October so that they can develop decent root systems before the bitter cold of winter hits, and bury the planters by mid-November at the latest.

Is it too early to plant

Is it too early to plant tulip bulbs in the ground now? I also want to plant some in planters above ground. Should I leave them outside, the the house or garage?

when is a good time to plant

when is a good time to plant easter tulip bulbs. i live in central new jersey and have 2 plants i would love to replant at the cemetary

No time like the present,

No time like the present, provided that you water them in well. More specifically, it would be best to do it just ahead of a predicted rainstorm so that the rain will settle the soil in around the roots of the tulips. In addition, the tulips will have a better chance of overcoming the shock of transplantation if you plant them on a cloudy day.

thank you. tmr. it will be.

thank you. tmr. it will be. rain coming tmr. night

I have just bought a pot of 3

I have just bought a pot of 3 tulips with buds that haven't opened yet. I transplanted them because they were too big for the cup, into a slightly bigger pot. We had some really cool nights all of a sudden. Now the edges of the leaves are turning yellow, like the are dying. Did I screw up??? Also I am in Louisville, ky.

I doubt that the cold weather

I doubt that the cold weather caused this problem. Tulips come equipped with the ability to survive early spring frosts. However, transplanting is always something of a shock. When the roots are disturbed, the plant needs extra water for a few days in order to thrive. If you had some strong winds that dried the tulips out right after the transplanting, that could have contributed to the yellowing of the leaves. But if as you say it's just the edges, perhaps they'll still revive with some TLC.

I was given a pot of Easter

I was given a pot of Easter tulips that were already flowering. They were given after my dad passed away and would love to plant then in the gardenas a memento of my dad. I live in Ohio. When should I put them in the ground?

Thanks for your help


Get them in the ground now,

Get them in the ground now, in a location that receives at least four hours of sunshine a day. In order to minimize the disturbance to the roots, you might simply sink the pot in the ground for the time being. Then when the foliage withers, probably within a month, you can lift the pot and put the bulbs away for storage in a cool, relatively dry, dark spot for the summer. Then plant them in the fall. Alternatively, you could just plant them in dirt and take your chances with pests over the summer. Either way, don't be surprised if the bulbs are rather small. The tulips that were given to you may not have had much of a chance to grow ample roots, photosynthesize and store food for next year. In all likelihood, it will be 2016 before they flower again.

I just bought a house that

I just bought a house that has a circular flower bed with tulips there is a lighthouse statue in the middle the house has been vacant for about two years I moved two weeks ago and noticed one side of the bed had bloomed but now they appear to be dead all of them. I don't know anything about flowers or planting I am in nc we have had a lot of rain and ice this winter and it's cold one day warm the next they are in a area that get sun light. What should I do with these to bring them back to life. And I don't know if there are any animals or pests other than ants and so stray cats.


I understand that the flowers

I understand that the flowers would be dead, but are you saying that the entire plants are dead -- no green leaves? That is very strange. I could understand voles eating some of the bulbs underground while the flowers were blooming, but I have never heard of them consuming an entire bed all at once like that.

The green part is still green

The green part is still green they just don't bloom. If you have an email I have a picture.

I planted my tulips 2 falls

I planted my tulips 2 falls ago last summer they bloomed great,but this year I barely have 10 with no buds just shabby looking leaves. what
at am I doing wrong

You haven't told me what part

You haven't told me what part of the country (or even what country) you live in, what your climate is like, how much sunlight the spot where you planted the tulips gets, whether you fertilized the tulips, whether you have squirrels, chipmunks or other pests, or whether you cut the foliage down prematurely last year, so it's impossible for me to know what you might be doing wrong, or failing to do right.

The tulips that I buy at a

The tulips that I buy at a greenhouse can I plant them this spring? I live in Wisconsin northeast corner.

Yes. Plant them now,

Yes. Plant them now, preferably in a well-drained, sunny location. I assume that these are blooming tulips (complete with bulbs) in a pot.

I planted tulip bulbs for the

I planted tulip bulbs for the first time this past fall of 2013.
All of the tulips are up and about to open. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the weather has been in the 70's with 50's overnight. However, overnight Monday into Tuesday we are expecting the temperatures to drop to 29 degrees overnight. Will this harm the almost open tulips, and if so, how can they be protected?

Lesliejean -- I expect that

Lesliejean -- I expect that your tulips will be all right. Their native habitat is in the mountains of Anatolia where late frosts can occur.

If I'm wrong, I'll have the same issue here in northern Virginia, as that same blast of cold air is headed our way. The official forecast is for a low of 31 degrees Wednesday morning.

I adjust that downward a bit for my own microclimate, which is exposed to infiltrations of cold air descending the Potomac Valley. Last Wednesday the official low was 36 degrees F, but it was about five degrees colder than that at my house. I had some light frost in my front (north) yard, enough to blacken some tender basil plants that I had left unprotected. My tulips, however, were unfazed.

A friend brought me back 12

A friend brought me back 12 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. I live in Arizona, land of hot. I have had fall planted bulbs grow, but I don't know what to do with these until fall. I assume they will be no good if they are not planted. Can I plant them now and refrigerate? Other options? I'd really love to get them growing even in the house. Thanks for any suggestions.

The bulb harvest in the

The bulb harvest in the Netherlands was last summer, so these are 2013 bulbs. God only knows how they were stored since being dug. However, my guess would be that they may have been refrigerated already, for use in the "forcing" trade. For any tulip vendor to be selling tulip bulbs in March or April that have NOT been chilled should be an official crime.

In Holland an unheated barn or warehouse will automatically give tulips the chill they need. If you wait until fall to plant them they will likely be too old and dessicated to be of much use. Therefore, my recommendation would be to plant them in a large pot or planter box that you can bring indoors (albeit in a sunny window) when your outside weather starts cooking.

The worst that can happen is that if the bulbs have not been chilled, they will send up foliage but will not bloom. You should still at least end up with bulbs that can be treated the right way next winter and bloom for you in 2015, or perhaps Christmas of this year depending on when you chill them.

Hello there~ My son & I

Hello there~
My son & I planted Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinth bulbs last November. We followed directions according to packaging and covered the soil w/ bark mulch. These bulbs were planted in a large planter. This spring, they all bloomed beautifully. Each plant type taking a turn. We live in Astoria, Oregon and the winters here are just weird. Snow is a maybe, which we got lucky & got two brief rounds of it this past winter.
Ok, so questions... I have read the multiple responses to the questions concerning these plant types and I've learned to let the leaves wither on their own-- thus the bulbs are preparing food storage etc. I want to keep the planter "as is" and just put it back into the same location November-ish.
We rarely get really hot/dry summers here. But the sun does come out every-so-often, sometimes a couple weeks at a time.
**Anyway, should I leave the planter exactly where it is or put it into my gardening shed for the summer months? The planter is currently in a shaded, but afternoon sun location.) **Do I take the mulch off for those summer months, or does it even matter? I get the idea that I don't water during the summer, so... water when I put the planter back out, right?
I'm hoping you'll say that I'm good to go w/ this plan...
Thank you for responding!

Astoria is a good location

Astoria is a good location for growing tulips. Your summers are relatively cool, which helps, and the winters get cold enough to provided the needed "chill" period.

I imagine that you will be all right leaving the bulbs in the planter over the summer, assuming that you are not plagued with squirrels or chipmunks that might want to make a meal of them. The tulips do not need to be watered at all during their dormant (summer) period, and so the relatively dry milieu of your shed would be ideal for them. Don't bother removing the bark.

In September or October, bring the planter out of the shed and let it get rained on. In Astoria, there should be no need to use a hose on them; natural rainfall will be more than adequate.

Thank you for responding!

Thank you for responding! I'm impressed that you did and so quickly :)

Yes, you are correct about the weather and I will indeed bring the container out for a drink come September/October with the abundance of rain we get here.
I don't have problems w/ squirrels nor deer. I'm mostly on clear-ish farm land w/ none to very little trees close by the house.

Two more questions..., if you can take the time:

**At "drink time" do I add bonemeal to the soil for a boost or would regular fertilizer (which I typically add steer manure to all my gardening planters i.e. veggies, etc. I mix equal halves of previous soil used with fresh manure. In this case, for that container, I would only add a little to the top soil for the boost)-- is this correct or leave it all alone for the next bloom season?

**Next, after "the drink", should I tuck the planter away until late November/mid-December? Up until that time, we get late summers usually with any cooler/cold winters not coming on until after Christmas into January. (still mowing the yard in most cases in December amongst the heavier rainfall which starts to become present.


I would not discourage the

I would not discourage the use of bone meal. Tulips need phosphate more than they do nitrogen, so bone meal is a better fertilizer for them than the manure. However, I use a product called "Triple Super Phosphate" that seems to work at least as well as bone meal and probably better.

As to nitrogen, tulips don't seem to demand it as much as many other plants. I have one area planted in "Orange Crush" tulips (which I highly recommend, by the way) that probably got too much nitrogen-rich compost. The leaves of the tulips in that bed look a little "burnt," compared to those in the adjacent bed that was planted in a soil that was only about 20% compost.

Also, the roots of the tulip don't know how to grow vertically. They only go down. Thus, you would be dependent on any "top" fertilizer you might add on the top to leach its way down into the tulip root zone. So I wouldn't necessarily bother fertilizing the upper layer of soil in the planters, unless I were planting some more surface-rooting plants like begonias, marigolds, ageratum or dianthus in the planters to thrive atop the resting tulip bulbs over the summer.

Thanks again! If you have

Thanks again! If you have time, could you answer the 2nd question too ^^^^ ? I think I'm done w/ questions after that... I think... ;)

**Next, after "the drink", should I tuck the planter away until late November/mid-December? Up until that time, we get late summers usually with any cooler/cold winters not coming on until after Christmas into January. (still mowing the yard in most cases in December amongst the heavier rainfall which starts to become present."

Yes, you could try tucking

Yes, you could try tucking the tulip planter away for a while. In your climate, I see no downside to that. I'd be more worried about excess moisture from the drenching rains that the Oregon Coast can receive in the fall. Of course, a problem is still not that likely from leaving the planters outside unless the drainage is poor.

Hello, A neighbor buys 300


A neighbor buys 300 tulip bulbs each year from Holland, plants them in large containers and as soon as the blooms start to fade he digs them up and gives them away. I received from my 92 year old mother a huge garbage bag of these 2 weeks ago, on March 22th, 2014 and don't know what to do with them. I live in the Santa Cruz mountains where we get some summer fog and usually hot weather in the 80's. I have a coolish garage if I need to store them. He told us to dig a deep hole in the ground and put them in a box in the ground. They still have their foliage on the but he cut off the flowers themselves. I have talked with people for 2 weeks and several conflict opinions have come out of that. Please give me some advice on how to have this be a successful endeavor. Thank you in advance.

I would dig a trench in a

I would dig a trench in a spot that gets at least four or five hours of sun per day. Then I would lay the bulbs down in the trench with the foliage above ground level, fill the trench back in with dirt, and give them a good watering to settle the dirt around the roots of the tulips. If you are going to have any bloom next year to speak of, they must have a chance to generate energy to store in the bulbs for next spring.

The foliage will wither in due course. Once it does, I would go with your neighbor's advice of burying the bulbs in that box in the ground. If you get down two or three feet into the earth, the soil will be cool enough that the tulips will be happy during their rest period -- even in a California summer. Or your cool garage might serve just as well.

Then in the fall they will feel that it's time to develop roots for the next year. If you can provide a layer of soil in the bottom four or five inches of the box, that will encourage root growth, and the bulbs will be able to take up nutrients from the soil.

When I do something along these lines, I add some phosphate and either wood ashes or potash fertilizer to the mix. I set quite a number of bulbs on a bed of dirt in one of those large plastic storage boxes, and the bulbs generated a huge volume of roots.

My only question is whether it will be cool enough in that box over the winter to prompt the tulips to bloom next spring. Certainly not if it's in your garage. In a deep hole in the earth -- maybe. Reportedly even in Los Angeles, the soil temperature in December five feet deep averages a bit under 50 degrees. Allowing for the facts that you are farther north and at a higher elevation than Los Angeles, and that you benefit from cool breezes from the Pacific, I suspect that the soil temperature in your area may well be below 50 degrees F. for long enough to allow the tulips to bloom when things warm up. Some varieties need a longer cold period than others.

I realize that digging a five foot deep hole is probably impractical unless you are unusually handy with a shovel and your soil is very light. However, a three foot deep hole is probably adequate in your area. Obviously, it's important that the hole be well drained; a hole that fills up with water would be death to the tulips. This is where use of a plastic storage bin would help. If the hole started filling up with water, the bin would keep the excess water out.

The alternative would be to refrigerate the bulbs. Unfortunately, 300 of them would take up way too much space in the average person's refrigerator, even if they are not set in dirt. So you should try the deep burial method and let us know how that works. At a minimum, the bulbs should survive so that you could try a different strategy to get them to bloom in 2016.

My parents have passed away,

My parents have passed away, & I am selling their house in northwest Indiana and hope to close on April 18, 2014. My dad had some tulips from his mom that I want to dig up before closing and plant in my own garden. Hopefully, the ground will be fully thawed when I attempt to dig them up next Saturday (4/12). How should I plant them in my garden (also in northwest Indiana)? Would they do better if I plant them in pots? If so, how big should the pots be? Should I put food in the hole before the bulbs? What type? Should I expect flowers this year? I should plant them bulbs 8-10 in. deep, correct?

Thank you.

Barb -- Sorry about your

Barb -- Sorry about your loss. However, it's wonderful that you have these heirloom tulips as a reminder of your dad and grandmother. Here's what I would do:

If the buyers are normal people, they will understand the desire to keep the tulips in your family. If you ask them, they will probably be amendable to your coming back in a couple of months and digging the tulips up then. The incentive for them is that they will be able to enjoy the bloom this spring.

If you wait until the foliage has withered, moving the bulbs will be extremely easy. You will need to move only the bulbs; no worries about the rest of the plant.

In contrast, if you try to move them this next weekend, you have to get the tops and roots out intact as well as the bulbs. This can be done, but it's not easy and even under the best of conditions it's a shock to the plant.

If the move must be done now (as, for example, if the property will be bulldozed following the closing), then I would urge you to plant them in pots right there at your father's property, and water them in immediately to settle the soil around the tulips' roots. The bigger the pots you use, the better. I would not try this with anything less than 9 inch diameter pots, because of the need to accommodate as much of the tulips' root systems as possible. Don't worry about how deep they sit in the pots. As little as 4 inches deep is all right if you won't be keeping them in the pots through the winter. The main objective is to have plenty of room for the roots to reestablish themselves.

Then at your place give them a few days to adjust, by setting the pots in a somewhat shady spot. As the roots get over the shock of the move, you could move them to a sunnier location. They should still bloom for you, provided that they have plenty of water.

Then after the foliage has died back, you can move them to a permanent spot in your garden. A planting depth of 8 inches is good.

I have moved tulips at this time of year from a neighbor's property that was within days of being bulldozed, so I know that they can be moved. It just required some TLC. But it would have been so much easier if I had been able to wait until they had gone dormant.

You asked about fertilizer. When I am potting up tulips or translating them (or just planting the bulbs in the fall), I make a soil mix consisting roughly of the following: a gallon of compost, a gallon of ordinary dirt, half a gallon of wood ashes from the fireplace (to supply potash), two or three cups of granulated limestone, and half a cup of granulated (slow release) phosphate. I live at the edge of a forest dominated by oak trees, so my soil is naturally acid. In your area, you might be able to skip the lime.

Anyway, this mixture goes in the pot or hole to fill in the three or four inches below where the bulbs will be sitting. If you don't have time to fool with mixing compost etc. into the dirt, your tulips will still probably do all right so long as they have that phosphate, especially if you are well south of the Lake Michigan shore areas. (Close to the shore, as you no doubt know, the soil can be very sandy and addition of compost is more important.)

Thank you for your detailed

Thank you for your detailed response.

I did what you said to do

I did what you said to do (when you answered my questions last weekend). Should I continue watering them until they quit blooming, or should I just water them for a few days? Can I put them in the ground, or do they have to stay in the pots until fall? I took some crocuses too, and I treated them the same as the tulips. Should I continue to treat them the same as the tulips?

If they had not been moved,

If they had not been moved, no extra watering would be necessary. However due to the shock of being relocated, these tulips will need some extra help. I would water them well every second or third day if you don't get rain that often.

You can put them in the ground right now if you like but I don't guarantee that there won't be any damage from a second disturbance of the roots going from pot to ground. Moving them from pot to ground in the middle of their bloom would not be good. The best option would, I think, be to sink the pots in the ground so that the tulips' roots will stay cooler and more moist than if the pots were elevated. Eventually the foliage will wither. That would represent the best time to lift the pots and remove the bulbs. You can put them back in the ground then, or store them over the summer in a paper bag or cardboard box in a cool, dry, dark place like a basement. Under this scenario you would then plant them in the ground in the fall. Lifting the bulbs over the summer reduces the risk that they will rot or be eaten by pests. Nevertheless, most of my tulips stay in the ground over the hot, humid summers of the Washington DC area. I tend to lose a substantial portion of the bulbs only in those parts of the garden that get flooded in times of heavy rain, or that are infested with chipmunk tunnels.

Thank you again.

Thank you again.

I did what you said to do

I did what you said to do (when you answered my questions last weekend). Should I continue watering them until they quit blooming, or should I just water them for a few days? Can I put them in the ground, or do they have to stay in the pots until fall? I took some crocuses too, and I treated them the same as the tulips. Should I continue to treat them the same as the tulips?

I need help with my tulips. I

I need help with my tulips. I planted the bulbs 2 years ago and left them. They did fine. Last year I dug them up and divided them, and this year only 7 bloomed out of 120. They all came up, but did not bloom. What am I doing wrong? I live on the coast in SC. Any help or tips you can give will be greatly appreciated.


Given the severity of this

Given the severity of this last winter in Carolina, I hesitate to blame inadequate cooling for the lack of bloom. Where you say that you "dug them up" in 2013, when was that? If you tackled that job immediately after they bloomed, the foliage probably didn't have enough of a chance to generate food to be stored in the bulbs for the 2014 blooming season. This year, let them soak up as much sun as possible and don't touch them until the foliage has died down.

There were tulips already

There were tulips already planted at the house I bought. For the last 3-4 years, the tulip leaves come up but there are never any blooms. Do tulips stop blooming after a few years? Is there something I should be doing to keep them blooming each year? I live in VA, just south of Fredericksburg. Please let me know what to do. Thanks.

Irene -- This is exceedingly

Irene -- This is exceedingly strange. You didn't mention whether they were in sun or shade, but I have some tulips growing on a shady hillside and yet somehow they always manage a few blooms. Still, quantity of blooms with tulips will always be better in full sun. Yet you have no blooms at all. I could understand that if you were in coastal South Carolina, where it doesn't get cold enough in the winter to prompt tulips to bloom, but you are only about 40 miles south of me, so clearly that's not the problem, and especially not with respect to the winter just past. The only thing that comes to mind is that perhaps your soil is so extremely short of phosphate that the bulbs are starved for the mineral most essential to flower formation. You might try applying a liquid fertilizer that is formulated to be heavy on phosphate and light on nitrogen. I suggest a liquid because you don't have much time for it to get down deep to the tulips' root zone; this year's foliage will probably be dying off here within eight or nine weeks.

I wondered whether they were growing too close together, but then I reflected on some tulips I rescued from a house that was about to be bulldozed. Those tulips were packed in as tightly as you could imagine, yet they still managed to bloom.

If you're ambitious, you might consider digging them up after the foliage has shriveled and examining the bulbs. If at least some of them are good sized, then you should be set for some blooms next year.

Hi I purchased tulips fully

Hi I purchased tulips fully bloomed in late feb. It's now April 2. The blooms are gone and the bulbs are still in the pot. I didn't plant them when I got them due to moving and snow on the ground. I live in Toledo Ohio and was planning to plant them now to get them to come back up next spring? I really don't know what I'm supposed to do after reading this...do I plant do I wait till fall?? And I'm seeing more tulips at stores not bloomed just started what are you supposed to do with those? I thought plant now to bloom? I don't know really confused...

Put them in the ground, NOW,

Put them in the ground, NOW, in a spot that gets some sun. Probably easiest to just sink the pots, as that will inflict the less damage on whatever root systems these tulips may have.

Their leaves want to photosynthesis over the next few weeks and make food to store in the bulbs for next year, but they can't do that if they don't get any sun. Anyway, once the foliage has withered, pull up the pots and store them in a relatively cool, dry place until fall. Then plant the bulbs at least six inches deep in a well-drained spot -- this time without involving the pots.

Don't be alarmed if the bulbs

Don't be alarmed if the bulbs that you find when you pull the pots out of the ground are small. If so, you may not have any bloom in 2015. That would not be unusual under these circumstances. They may need to go through a whole additional cycle (fall-winter-spring) before blooming. But if they can avoid being eaten, these tulips should put on a good display in 2016.

Correction - I meant to say

Correction - I meant to say "photosynthesize." Photosynthesis is, of course, the noun for the process whereby carbon dioxide and water are converted into sugar and other carbohydrates that can be stored in the bulb for the next growing season.

I live in northern Thailand

I live in northern Thailand and last year my son-in-law brought me back tulip bulbs from a holiday in Holland. I left them in the paper bags that they were bought in and forgot about them till December as we had a really cold winter for a change! When I checked on them they were all sprouting so I planted them in pots. They haven't done much except to grow just a little. Perhaps if I had planted them earlier might have had better results. But what I want to know is can I now remove the bulbs and put them back into paper bags to be planted again later this year? Our summer has arrived and we get hot, humid weather with a lot of rain starting about May/June. Would really appreciate your advice. Many thanks.
Chris Tutt

This is a difficult question.

This is a difficult question. I have no idea why they didn't grow better for you. I am confident, though, that if you leave them exposed to the heat and humidity of a Thai summer, they will probably rot. I would either put them in paper bags or at least put the pots in a cool, very dry place until fall.

Hiya! I received some potted

Hiya! I received some potted tulips from my co-workers for my Dad's funeral. I desperately want them to bloom year after year. They are fully flowered and starting to drop petals now in late March. I live in Lexington, Kentucky. What should I do now?

Lexington is a great area for

Lexington is a great area for growing tulips. You have naturally well-drained calcareous soil, which they like. You have adequate cold in winter, and adequate precipitation.

The main trick is that the root system is on the bulbs you have received may not be all that well developed, if the bulbs were refrigerated before being potted up. So you probably can't just stick them out in full sun and expect everything to work out perfect.

My recommendation (after the "easing" process described below) would be to dig a hole the size of your pot in a well drained spot that gets morning sun, loosen the soil at the bottom, and add some compost and a little slow-release fertilizer that is heavy on phosphate and light on nitrogen. Then either (a) plant the contents of the pot there, or (b) simply sink the pot in that place with the bulbs in it. The latter can work provided that this is a pot with draining holes. If not, go with option (a) only.

Direct planting will allow the bulbs to send roots down into dirt and fertilizer next fall. The latter strategy will protect the bulbs against being eaten by moles or burrowing rodents, but won't make it easy for the bulbs to develop deeper roots. That said, the bulbs are not into making new roots right now. Their focus is on using the foliage to create food to store in the bulbs for creation of roots in the fall, and tops next spring. So give them that morning sun and enough water so that the soil doesn't dry out for the next month or until the leaves start to turn yellowish and shrivel. When that happens, the bulbs are going into rest mode. They are not dead. They just need to be left alone.

Come this fall, the bulbs will send roots down into the good dirt you have prepared for them. If they are still in the pot, their new roots will go down through the holes in the pot.

The reason why I didn't suggest that you place them out in full sun now is that could be too much of a shock for plants that have been inside in limited light thus far. Full sun is great for tulips in principle. However, they must have the root system ready to handle it; otherwise they will go into premature dormancy, if not croak outright.

It's best to ease the plants into the maximum sun you are going to provide. I like to take tulips such as you describe and put them somewhere that has only a couple of hours of direct sunlight the first day, and get them gradually used to sunnier spots.

Other than that, your only challenge may be to keep animal pests from destroying the tulips. I think that I have already written some about deer, chipmunks, squirrels, etc. I can't claim to have perfect answers for any of them. But it appears that of the roughly 120 "Orange Crush" tulips that we planted in late December, having dusted them first with medicated foot powder like you buy at CVS, the rodents ate very few if any. It probably helped this year that the ground froze solid in mid-January and stayed frozen until just recently.

There was a bed of a different kind of tulips nearby that the squirrels were starting to dig up in November. I dumped a load of acorns on top of it, and that ended the attack on the tulips. With an easy source of acorns above ground, the squirrels lost interest in the tulips.

Don't be too chagrined if the tulips don't bloom next year. The forcing process can be tough on tulips, and it may take a year of them not blooming in order to get re-established. But with care and some luck you should at least have nice blooms in 2016.

We have tulips coming up just now that were planted as a memorial to my mother, who passed away seven years ago. They are in her favorite color. I am sure that your Dad would appreciate your interest in perpetuating the tulips that honored him. Very nice of your co-workers to make that gesture.

Barry, Thank you sharing your

Barry, Thank you sharing your tulip experience and expert advice—as well as your generous nature. It's just such a blessing to the Almanac community. We would love to send you The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac as a small but heartfelt token of appreciation. Just email us at AlmanacEditors@yankeepub.com
Thank you, again! We wish you a colorful tulip-filled spring,
Your OFA editors

I can't thank you enough for

I can't thank you enough for your expert advice, Mr. Wood. I purchased the fertilizer you recommended (heavy phosphate, light nitrogen) and the tulips are looking and feeling much better. Not to mention that the other plants in the arrangement from my co-workers also like that fertilizer too. I had to smile when you said that you dumped a load of acorns on your tulips to deter the squirrels. :oD I must also say that planting tulips in memory of your mother is a lovely gesture. We shall make our plants thrive!

do i need to water the tulips

do i need to water the tulips soon as they come out in the spring?i put them in the utility room in a pot and when i checked on them ,they already came out about 4inches.should i water them already?

YES!!!! And put them where

YES!!!! And put them where they can get plenty of light. You should ease them into the sunlight gradually if the utility room is dark; immediate transfer from a dark room to full sun would be too abrupt. Maybe start with a north exposure, then move to east where they will get morning sun only, and then south or out in the open for full sun. Don't worry about a little frost. Those of my tulips that are above ground survived recent plunge in temps here to 25 degrees F without a problem.

I bought tulip bulbs at

I bought tulip bulbs at Keukenhoff Gardens (Amsterdam) and planted them last year. Although the green leaves grew tall and looked healthy, there was never a bloom...on any! The same thing seems to be happening this year :-(
Any suggestions...ideas??

Where do you live? Normally

Where do you live? Normally the lack of blooms would be the result of inadequate chilling of the bulbs over the winter. Here in northern Virginia, my tulips' foliage (in most cases) is just barely above the ground. Blooms will come in April.

I live in SC, zone 8B. I

I live in SC, zone 8B. I have approx. 300 good quality Dutch bulbs refrigerated for almost 16 weeks and I will be planting them the first week of April. I am hoping for blooms by the 3rd week of May. Please advise if this will be possible. Thank you...

Why wait until April? Are

Why wait until April? Are you trying to schedule the bloom for a garden wedding or something of that nature? Actually they will do better if planted NOW. As far as blooming time is concerned, the third week of May is very late for normal tulip blooms in your area. Here in northern Virginia, even my late varieties of tulips are finished by mid-May. Since you are planting them so late, that may be possible, but I can't really say as I have no experience with forced tulips in a climate as warm as yours.

I'm in S md. My tulips are 2

I'm in S md. My tulips are 2 to 4 inches
Above ground. Calling for snow tonite
What should I do thanks al

Light snow is not going to

Light snow is not going to hurt your tulips. They will be fine.

Hello, I have read comment

Hello, I have read comment after comment but still feel I need some clarity for my situation. We are full time RV'ers. Because I love them, my husband just bought me a pot of planted pink tulips. The container has five plants and they are almost all the way open after three days. They were fully closed when purchased. Due to moving I cannot plant them outside. I am not sure what deadheading means and I have read about putting the bulbs in a bag in the fridge and also on here about leaving them in a pot in a cool place. We are in New Mexico. So once these bloom I know to cut them but not sure how much. Then I leave them alone and let the plants die? Then do I take the bulbs out or leave them in the pot? I have always managed to kill the plants and bulbs and I think I have always overwatered so this time I want to do things right. Thank you.

P.S. I am also not certain

P.S. I am also not certain from reading the posts what "giving them a fall" actually means.

After the tulips have bloomed

After the tulips have bloomed cut the flower stalk off but leave the leaves. After the leaves have turned yellow cut them off and place the dried bulbs in a paper bag. Keep the bulbs in a dark cool spot until you are ready to put them in the refrigerator for a chilling period (about 6 weeks). After the chilling period plant the bulbs in a pot and water.

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your replies. They have been a big help. Wish me luck.

"Giving them a fall" means

"Giving them a fall" means giving the bulbs conditions that mimic autumn in their native habitat. Autumn is when the bulbs grow roots and plump up in anticipation of (a) 6 to 20 weeks of dormancy in the cold of winter, and (b) putting forth tops in the spring. If you skip the rooting phase and go straight to the chilling phase, it is doubtful that your tulips will have an adequate root system to keep the tops going long enough after flowering to store the energy in the bulb needed to produce flowers the following year. If you buy new bulbs in the fall, the flowers for the following year have already been formed inside that bulb, so you can make the flowers appear by chilling them first and potting later. But if you want to have a viable plant the year after that, it's best to pot the bulbs up first, give them some water and some cool ( as in around 40 to 55 degrees) conditions. Only THEN, after four to six weeks for root development, would you give them the deeper chill (as in 33-40 degrees) for another six weeks to trigger the urge to bloom. I realize that this may be too complicated for life in an RV.

I just found a bag of 50

I just found a bag of 50 tulip bulbs that I had put up for safe keeping during the GA snow this year. Some of them are starting to grow some roots right in the bag. The bag was kept in the garage where it stays cold. Could I still plant them? Also, just read that the tulips do not like wet soil so i need to know if they can go in large pots since my soil stays wetter than it should after rainy days. Please help.

Hi Maggie, Large pots will

Hi Maggie,
Large pots will work great. Get them planted as soon as you can.

Hi, I just bought flower pot

I just bought flower pot tulip, I live in CA
I want to plant them in my garden, but I don't want them to die,
What is the best way to do it?
Thank you

See my answer to Susan on

See my answer to Susan on February 18 (scroll down). You didn't say where you live in California, but unless you are in the mountains you should be safe to plant the tulips outside now. Give them plenty of sun. The foliage will die back in three to ten weeks, depending on how good the root system is and how hot it gets. Then dig the bulbs up and see what you have. Probably they will be rather small. If you want them to grow in 2015, you will need to give them a "fall season" to build new roots, and a "winter" in a refrigerator. If this is too much trouble for you, just give them to someone who lives in a cooler climate and let them give the tulips a chance there.

I live in northern Georgia. I

I live in northern Georgia. I had bought Darwin Hybrid Oxford tulips in Nov 2013 and as often heard, I put them in a covered paper bag in my refrigerator and then forgot to plant them. Just to give it a try I still planted them last week (feb 22)in a full sun area of my backyard following all the planting instructions with a layer of store bought top soil and mixed some organic bone meal. What are the chances the my tuilps will come this year or later ?
Also we have a lot of deer and bunnies around. what other plants should a plant near my tulips to keep them off naturally without spraying too many chemicals in my yard?