What to do with the tulip bulbs?
March 19, 2018 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I am in central Minnesota and I didn't plant the tulip bulbs we bought last fall. Snow is due tomorrow, but it will be above 40 for the rest of the week. Should I keep the bulbs in a paper bag in the fridge until next fall? Is there anything likely to work for this year, like putting them in the freezer for x weeks before planting?

This was probably a $10 investment, so it is not a huge loss if they die. I am also not the type to go out and garden every week, so it would need to be a low maintenance method. I read previous tulip questions, but we don't really have a cold dark spot in the basement, but I can keep the tulips in their own drawer at the bottom of our fridge.
posted by soelo to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Plant them! Or force them in a pot indoors, enjoy the blooms, and then plant them out. I don't think I'd try waiting a year in storage...you'd have better luck just stickign them in the ground this week and hoping they get enough chill before May comes to put on a little show for you.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 9:09 AM on March 19, 2018

Best answer: Yeah, if you are willing to gamble a bit, you can plant them, they will almost certainly grow but may not bloom this year, though the ones that grow but don't bloom should put on an extra nice show next year.

Forcing them indoors will be a bit more reliable for blooms later this year, even with a short chill in the fridge. I'd probably do a little of both. Note that most store-bought bulbs will die or perform very poorly the next year if forced. Even when growing well outside, modern tulips that are not sold as "naturalizing" will peter out after a few years, and will disappear eventually. Naturalizing varieties have less showy blooms but should be able to actually spread over the years without any help.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Follow Up: Winter is coming never leaving. We got a foot+ of snow last weekend and may get more today. I plan to plant them outside as soon I can dig up the garden, so maybe June?
posted by soelo at 12:52 PM on April 18, 2018

« Older Private chat system for 2 writers   |   Recommendations for Long, Engrossing Books Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.