Plus, it needs to stay at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 weeks for it to bloom.
Having Tulips bloom in a pot brings colorful joy. When forced bulbs flower in late winter to early spring, they provide an indescribable delicate beauty. Putting bulbs in a pot, called “forcing,” is a good way to take in their vibrancy, but it also uses up the plant’s energy.
How Do You Keep Potted Tulips Alive After Blooming?
It’s fairly simple to keep Tulips alive. Move the pot to a place where it can get sunshine until the Tulip finishes flowering. Once-blooming stops, cut off the flowers to prevent new seeds from forming. Leave the foliage for now.
Water the Tulip twice per week, but only when the surface soil is dry. Then water every other week with a balanced fertilizer. Gradually reduce the frequency and cease fertilizing when the foliage begins yellowing. When the leaves are more than half dead, stop watering altogether.
Then let the foliage completely die back. When dry and brown, pull the leaves with gentle tugs until they break from the bulb without effort. If it’s difficult to pull them, they’re not ready yet, and you should wait a little longer.
This part is a crucial and nuanced step. Premature pulling will make it more difficult for the bulb to rebuilding energy. The leaves help the bulb to store nutrients for flowering later on. At this point, you can determine whether you should save the bulb, plant it in the garden or keep it in the pot.
To transplant Tulip bulbs in the ground or to save them, remove the bulbs from the soil. Dust off and inspect for soft or rotted areas and throw away any bulbs showing signs of decay. If all looks well, dry it out in a paper bag. Place the Tulip bulbs in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Zones Higher than 8
For those who live in a hardiness zone higher than 8, winter will not be sufficient for the bulbs. This means you have to put them in a refrigerator. They must have two months at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder before they can flower.
You can chill the bulbs in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. Don’t put them near fruits or veggies because they will cause the bulbs to rot.
Can Potted Tulips Be Planted in The Ground?
You can plant potted bulbs into the earth. It’s better for them this way because they will produce flowers every year.
But it may take up to two years to see flowering after being in a container. If you plant them in the garden, do it between September and early November.
Put two inches of compost into the top eight inches of soil to increase the soil’s quality and nutrients. Then plant the bulbs with the pointed side up in a spot that drains well and gets plenty of sunlight.
Ensure the tops of the bulbs sit two inches beneath the surface. If you’re planting many bulbs, smaller ones should be about three inches apart, and larger bulbs about four or five inches apart. Don’t forget to water well afterward.
Do Tulips Need Sun?
Yes, Tulips need a lot of light. Tulips in a container or planted outdoors should sit in an area with bright, direct sunlight. If you store the bulbs, then do not expose them to sunlight for a period of 10 to 12 weeks.
Do Potted Bulbs Bloom Again?
Tulip bulbs will bloom again in a pot, but the previous flowering will have taken up all the bulb’s nutrients. In this case, you may have to wait for up to two years before it has enough resources for blooming. But, more meticulous gardeners report that proper care of the bulb can produce flowering every spring.
How Do I Save Tulip Bulbs from a Potted Plant?
Follow the instructions in the sections above to save the bulbs. Even if you live in the right hardiness, but the first frost already came, you can follow the directions for those who live in a zone higher than 8. Then wait to plant them in the fall.
Whether planting a Tulip in a pot or the garden, taking care of the bulb is imperative. All a Tulip bulb needs are care and attention to food, light, soil, water, and chilling temperatures.