Storing Tulips After Flowering
After a week or two the remaining foliage will die back and slowly turn a yellowish brown color.
Storing tulips after flowering. Wait for them to die which approximately takes 6 weeks. Pull back all the dead and yellowing foliage away from the bulb and carefully prune the dead leaves. The first step is to cut off the flowers but not the flower stalks of potted tulips. Take care not to damage the stem and avoid watering the tulip plant.
Wrap the bulbs individually in newspaper then place them in a mesh bag and store them in a dark dry place for up to 12 weeks. Digging the bulb up too early means that the bulbs will not have had a chance to replenish their nutrient supplies. Deadhead to prevent seed production and wait until foliage turns yellow before lifting the bulbs about six weeks after flowering if you need to lift earlier place in trays until the leaves become yellow and straw like. However if you wish to move the tulips to another location in the garden this is the time to move them.
The alternative to discarding old bulbs and replacing with new is to lift and dry the tulip bulbs after flowering. Once the foliage has died back this means all the energy in the leaves is now stored in the bulbs for next spring the tulips can be left in the ground and in most cases they will over winter quite happily until next year. Once you are done deadheading the tulip plant let the tulip bulb remain underground for a few months. Once the tulips finish blooming they begin to recharge themselves for the next flowering season and start storing energy.
Continue to water and feed potted tulip until stalks become dry and shriveled. This keeps the tulip from creating a seed head but allows the foliage and stems to remain. After the recharging process is complete the tulip bulbs lay dormant and wait to bloom afresh in the next season. Storing tulip bulbs is a great means of keeping the bulbs from blooming for several years to come.
Wipe the outer layer of the bulbs with a dry paper towel to remove excess soil then allow them to dry in a cool dry place for 2 days. As it does it is then safe to cut the tulips back completely to the ground. Once tulips finish flowering they use their leaves and roots to gather nutrients and fill up the storage containers with supplies. Although considered low maintenance plants properly caring for tulips after the blooms fade assists the bulbs in remaining healthy so they rebloom the following year.
If you want to store tulip bulbs cut the stem off of the bulbs once the flowers have died but do not cut the leaves.
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