If you adhere to a few basic rules, it’s simple to grow a pot of budded tulips as a great midwinter gift or a reminder that spring is approaching:
Select bulbs that are firm and weighty for their size (12 cm or more), and that are topsize. Larger bulbs produce larger flowers. Pick tulips that bloom early, such as Triumph or Single Early.
In the pot, group the bulbs closely together. More bulbs result in more blooms. Typically, a 6 pot can accommodate 6–7 bulbs. Because the bulbs already have the necessary nutrients, fertilizer is not required.
Use potting soil that is easy to drain. The bulbs should be buried in the soil once the container has been filled to within 2 of the top rim of the pot. As more soil is added, the bulbs’ tips will eventually disappear completely. The soil should be about half way down the top rim.
Thoroughly water. If you wish to distinguish between the pots that you planted because most tulip bulbs resemble one another, label the pot! Various types bloom at a little bit different times.
For a minimum of 12 weeks, keep the pot in a consistently dark, cool (40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit) environment. The most consistent results will come from a refrigerator, so make sure it doesn’t freeze and avoid putting produce in it when bulbs are inside. As most fruits and vegetables ripen, ethylene gas is released, which harms flower buds. (A little, useful addition to the garage is a mini-fridge specifically designed for bulb forcing.)
Periodically water the pot of bulbs; it shouldn’t be allowed to completely dry out because too much moisture will cause the bulbs to rot. After 12 weeks, light green or yellow sprouts should start to emerge above the soil’s surface. At this point, the pot should be removed and placed in a dim area with a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The seedlings will turn bright green after a few days. Place the pot in a warm, sunny area (60 to 70 degrees). To ensure that the plant receives sunshine from all sides and has straight stems, water it frequently and rotate the pot every few days. In three to four weeks, blooms ought to unfold.
Trim the dead petals when the flowers have completed blooming, but leave the leaves alone. The clump of bulbs should be removed from its pot as soon as the threat of a severe frost has passed and planted outdoors in a sunny, well-drained area. Water the foliage often until it becomes yellow, then fertilize with perennial or bulb food. The tulips should bloom again at their usual time the following year after being securely pruned back. Avoid attempting to force them a second time; it rarely works.
Can tulips be planted inside?
Tulip indoor cultivation is a simple and enjoyable project. Enjoy the vibrant spring colors even in the dead of winter.
It’s simple to grow tulip bulbs in containers. All the bulbs need is a drink of water and a place to relax. The bulbs already contain the blooming buds.
Forcing is the process of growing tulips indoors. Choose the largest bulbs you can locate to start.
Use a container with a wide bottom, such an azalea pot. When the plants grow taller, these are less prone to topple over.
The tips of the bulbs should be placed at the surface of the potting soil when you fill the pots. Don’t space the bulbs more than two inches apart from one another.
The flat side of a tulip bulb is where the largest leaves appear. The leaves of the bulb should fall over the inner lip of the container when it is planted so that its flat side is up against it.
Before the bulbs begin to produce sprouts, they require around 14 weeks of cool temperatures (the 40s). Although an unheated garage is a good option, the basement refrigerator is the best place to grow them. Water the soil before it cools, and keep it moist but not soggy.
Place them near a window that gets plenty of sunlight after they begin to sprout. The blossoms will be exciting in a few weeks!
Written by North Dakota State University Extension Horticulturist Tom Kalb. Published on October 15, 2014, in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report. September 2020 update The photographer, Peter Kemmer, specified a Creative Commons license when he made the image available.
When should I begin planting tulip bulbs inside?
In the spring, tulips are a cheerful sight. But you don’t have to wait until April or May to enjoy these perennial favorites that bloom in the spring. Tulip bulbs can be brought indoors to add color to the winter’s gloomy, chilly days. Tulips can be enjoyed indoors from January through March with careful planning.
Gardeners must start the forcing procedure in late summer or early fall if they want to enjoy tulips in the winter. To successfully force tulips indoors, you’ll need high-quality bulbs, a well-drained potting mix, and containers with drainage holes on the bottom.
Visit neighborhood garden centers in September as soon as the bulbs arrive for the finest variety. Pick out sturdy, big bulbs. Skip the tiny, flimsy, or imperfect bulbs. Additionally, tulip bulbs can be ordered through mail-order businesses. The Triumph, Single Early, Double Early, and Darwin Hybrid tulips are the finest for forcing.
Forcing containers can be made of metal, clay, ceramic, or plastic. As long as it has drainage holes on the bottom, practically any container can be used.
Planting soil should first partially fill the container. The tulip bulbs should next be placed on top of the soil. The soil should be raised or lowered until the tops of the bulbs are just over the container rim. Depending on the size of the pot, different numbers of bulbs should be planted within. In general, 4 to 5 bulbs go in a 5-inch pot and 6 to 7 bulbs go in a 6-inch pot. Tulip bulbs should be placed in the container with their flat side facing the pot’s inside wall. The enormous lower leaf of each bulb will grow outward over the side of the container when planted in this manner, creating a lovely border around the pot’s edge. Add more potting soil to the area around the bulbs after they are in the right place. Don’t entirely enclose the bulbs though. The bulb tops (noses) should poke out from the potting soil. The level of the soil mixture should be 1/2 to 1 inch below the rim of the container to make watering easier. As each pot is planted, label it. Add the cultivar’s name and the planting date. Each container should be well watered after potting.
Tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs require 12 to 16 weeks of exposure to temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to bloom. The refrigerator, the root cellar, or an open trench are all potential storage locations. If the refrigerator has apples or other ripening fruit when being used for cold storage, put the potted bulbs in a plastic bag. Fruit that is about to ripen emits ethylene gas, which could hinder flower development. The bulbs should be kept in complete darkness and periodically watered while being kept in cold storage.
When the required level of cold has been reached, start taking out the potted tulip bulbs from the cold storage. Yellow shoots from the bulbs should have started to appear at this point. Put the tulips in a spot that receives low to medium light and is cold (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep them here until the shoots turn green, which should happen in 4 or 5 days. Then transfer them to a warm (60–70 degrees Fahrenheit) area that is well-lit. Water the plants frequently. Regular container turning will encourage straight, upright growth. Three to four weeks after the bulbs have been taken out of cold storage, flowering should typically start. Every two weeks, remove pots from cold storage for a succession of indoor blooms.
Step 7: Optionally, move the tulip pot inside when the stems are at least 1 inch long
The plant may begin to emerge in the late winter or early spring. Check the tulips frequently to see if the stems have begun to develop.
If you reside in a region with extreme cold, such as Canada, cover the bulbs with mulch.
You can transfer the plants inside your home if you’d like once the stems are 1 inch long.
Step 8: Water the tulips once a week
Its growth will be triggered by the wintertime precipitation and snow. The leaves will emerge from the compost once the weather warms up.
Give them a good soak in the water once or twice a week if you’re keeping them indoors. The water ought to permeate the whole soil and drain.
These are the procedures for planting and caring for your potted tulips.
Step 9: Deadheading spent flowers
Wait until the flower stalk is completely yellow or brown after the flowers have stopped blossoming. The tulip has to be deadheaded at this point.
Use a pair of sharp garden scissors to cut the stalk down. To stop the spread of disease, wipe the blade with alcohol before moving between plants.
Leave the vegetation alone.
The leaves will do the trimming for you and get the bulb ready for the next bloom.
About six weeks after the end of flowering, when the leaves have become entirely yellow, you can prune them.
How are tulips grown inside in a vase?
Although they claim that the tastiest sauce is made when you’re hungry, I can’t wait to see the results in my landscape. One DIY preferred method for growing tulips quickly inside the home is to grow them without soil. Tulips need 12 to 15 weeks of chilling, which they receive outside unless you buy pre-chilled bulbs. Additionally, you can do it yourself at any moment in your refrigerator, bringing you that much closer to a profusion of blooms.
Springtime farmer’s markets offer buckets of tulip flowers for sale. But if you make plans in advance, you won’t have to wait until spring to appreciate the blossoms. Tulip flowers that have already been iced make a striking display when they are cultivated in a glass container on rocks or glass beads.
Growing tulips without soil makes the job easier to complete and lets you observe the rooting process. Healthy, large bulbs are the first thing you need. The next step is to select a container. The height of a glass vase is ideal because it offers the tulip stems and leaves something to lean against as they enlarge. A forcing vase, which is bent to allow the bulb to sit slightly above the water with only the roots submerged, is another option you may choose to consider. When growing tulips in water, these arrangements lessen decay.
Your bulbs should be pre-chilled for 12 to 15 weeks in a paper bag in the refrigerator. They should now be planted.
- For the vase’s base, you’ll need gravel, rocks, or glass beads.
- The tulip bulb should be placed on top of the vase’s 2 inches (5 cm) of rock or glass, with the pointed end facing up. The goal is to keep the bulb itself out of the water while letting the roots get moisture from the beads or rocks.
- Just one inch (3 cm) above the bottom of the bulb, fill the vase with water.
- For four to six weeks, move the bulb and vase to a cold, dark place.
- Every week, change the water, and keep an eye out for sprouting.
The sprouted bulb can be moved outside to a bright place and continued to grow after a few months. Place the vase at a window that gets plenty of sunlight. Continue changing the water while maintaining the same moisture level. You will soon be able to observe the adult tulip’s curving green leaves and rigid stem since the sun will help the bulb develop more. Watch the bud develop before it finally opens. Your artificial tulips ought should last a week or longer.
Allow the greens to persist after the bloom has faded so they can gather solar energy to fuel another bloom cycle. Pull the bulb from the vase after removing the wasted greens and stem. Since bulbs that are pressed in this way rarely blossom again, there is no need to store them.
Kickstart Spring by Growing Tulips Indoors
Although spring can feel far away in the gloomy, chilly days of winter, there are ways to enjoy lovely spring bulbs before they blossom in the yard. With a little preparation, growing tulips inside in pots is simple; continue reading to learn everything you need to know.
Growing Tulips Indoors: Forcing
For a spectacular display, tulip bulbs that you intend to grow inside must be “pushed or frozen. Buy your tulips in the early fall, place them in paper bags, and keep them cold for 12 to 16 weeks, like in the refrigerator’s salad drawer or a frost-free garage.
Growing Tulips Indoors: Planting
Pick a container with drainage holes, and fill it halfway with compost. With their pointed ends facing up, arrange your previously frozen tulips in a bed of compost, leaving just the tops of the bulbs showing. Once the shoots start to appear, keep them in a cool, dark spot, like a garage, for 6 to 8 weeks. Then, move them into a bright, warm room, where your tulips will bloom in 2 to 3 weeks.
Growing Tulips Indoors in Water
Why not try growing tulips in water for an intriguing variation on indoor gardening? The tulip bulbs must once again be frozen for a few weeks prior to planting. A specific forcing vase can be purchased, or you can select a small glass vase that you can partially fill with glass beads or small stones. Keep the water level about 1″ below the base of the bulb as it sits in the neck of the vase with only its roots touching the water. When a shoot starts to emerge, transport the plant to a bright, warm location where it will blossom after being kept in a cool, dark room for 4–6 weeks.
Why not plant some tulips in the fall to decorate your home in the winter and early spring now that you know how to grow tulips indoors? For more ideas, look through our collection of tulips. You’ll find a dizzying number of tulip variations in hues and forms to fit every preference.