Although tulips may look beautiful in dainty, these spring-blooming flowers are very hardy and can survive most snows.
They developed within some of the coldest mountain regions within Central Asia. In order to survive, these bulbs adapted to cold temperatures, snow, and frost.
In fact, tulips and their spring bulbs can handle temperatures around freezing. Even when the soil temperatures drops early in the spring, most tulips and their bulbs can survive to bloom unless the temperature plummets well below freezing in the soil, but this is unlikely to happen in many regions.
With this in mind, you don’t have a lot to worry about when it comes to tulips surviving the late winter and early spring.
These flowers are strong enough to survive warm summer days and frigid winter nights. Read on to find out more.
Spring Blooming Tulips and Cold Weather
If it’s wintertime, there are likely three different scenarios you are worried about affecting your bulbs: snow, frost, or freeze. Luckily, tulips can handle most scenarios, including the three mentioned above.
Of course, everything has its limits. Freeze is the most likely of the three to take out a tulip.
When it comes to snow, most tulip bulbs will survive with no issues. In fact, they may even begin to bloom even when snow is still on the ground.
It is much more likely for the tulips to be crushed by heavy snowfall than die from the cold temperatures.
Frost is another issue that kills many plants but isn’t that damaging to tulip bulbs. Frost happens whenever the ground level’s temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since clouds are not present to trap heat inside the atmosphere, the temperature is lost on the Earth’s surface.
This is really dangerous for many plants. Luckily, the temperature rarely goes below freezing, meaning tulips can survive most frosts.
The reason for this is that whenever water freezes, energy is released. This helps to keep the temperature right around freezing within the soil.
Freeze is one of the only cold incidents that can kill a tulip bulb. Whenever there is a freeze, the Arctic air moves into a particular region.
This temperature is much lower than freezing. Certain tulips can handle this temperature, but most cannot. Most tulips will experience freezing or drying out.
Should You Cover Your Tulips from Snow?
If the snow is early on in the winter, you do not need to cover your tulips. The snow will not damage the spring bulbs. However, if it appears that snow is coming early in the spring and is accompanied by extreme freezing, it would be wise to cover the tulips.
In most cases, snow will not freeze or dry out the tulip. However, heavy snowfall can be too heavy for the tulip, causing the snow to crush it. Covering the tulips with some sort of blanket will help keep your tulips in healthy condition in the case that the snow is too cold.
Can Hydrangeas Survive a Freeze?
If you have tulips, you might have hydrangeas too. These two flowers are often seen together, and they bloom in similar conditions. Although hydrangeas are really hardy, they are not as hardy as tulips.
Still, neither plant can survive a freeze. A freeze occurs whenever the soil itself drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Although some tulips may survive a freeze, most hydrangeas will not, though it is possible for one or two to make it.
Whenever a freeze occurs, the frigid temperature is likely to pull the moisture from the hydrangea stems and leaves. As a result, the hydrangeas have trouble growing and blooming on new wood.
How Cold Cold Too Cold for Tulips?
Because these bulbs developed to survive harsh winters in freezing mountain ranges, they are much more suited for surviving winter climates than other flowers. Just like everything else in the world, though, tulips and their bulbs have their limits. Once their limit is crossed, they may become damaged or die.
The limit for spring bulbs is around 29 degrees Fahrenheit. This is below the freezing point. If the soil gets below 29 degrees Fahrenheit, the spring bulbs can be damaged because the soil will pull the moisture from the flower itself, resulting in dehydration.
Luckily, it is pretty rare for the soil to get below 29 degrees Fahrenheit in most locations. Because of the fact, water releases energy as it freezes, the earth’s outermost surface stays about 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a few degrees above the tulip bulb limit.
Of course, it is completely possible for the soil to drop, resulting in a damaged bulb. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters or conditions, it is possible to happen. Most locations with temperate locations, however, will not have this issue.
Tulips are a very hardy type of flower that can survive much colder temperatures than other varieties. With a limit of 29 degrees Fahrenheit, tulip bulbs can resist snow and frost, though they are not invincible to extreme freezing temperatures in the early spring.