How to Force Tulip Bulbs

Views: 17411 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
How to Force Tulip Bulbs - Provided by eHow
Tulips, which should start as nice, big bulbs, can bloom indoors and don't need to wait until spring to have flowers blooming. Force tulip bulbs against the outside of the pot and use drainage with tips from an experienced gardener in this free video on... View Video Transcript

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Jessica Smith

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jessica Smith with Blands Nursery in West Jordon, UT. And in today's series we're talking about how to plant bulbs. Right now we're going to discuss how to force tulip bulbs. You don't need to wait until spring for your tulips to bloom. You can actually have them blooming in doors. Now the way to do that though is, you're preparation's basically going to be the same. Get your bulbs first part of September when they begin to arrive at your local nurseries and that. And what you'll want with a tulip bulb is a nice big bulb. Sometimes those small bulbs won't give you the flower that you want. Nice big bulbs is what you want to start with. Now with the tulip bulb when planting it, you'll want the flat side against the outside of the pot. What that does is your first bottom leaf is going to come out this way and it's going to kind of soften the side of the pot for you. It's not a mandatory thing that you plant it that way, it just looks a little prettier. Now when choosing the tulip bulb, what you'll want to do is look on the labeling not all tulip bulbs bloom at the same time. So you don't want to go with something that blooms early and then one that blooms late in the same pot. You can do early, mid and late season tulips in different pots and then just bring them out of cold storage as you want them to bloom. Now on your packaging system, it's going to tell you how high the bulb gets, when it's blooming and also what season it blooms in. These are late. Those are of course, your ones that are going to come on at the very last. So make sure you don't go with something that's early again and then something that's late if you're wanting them to bloom at the same time in the same plant. Let's go a head and plant our pots here with the tulip bulbs. You want drainage on the bottom of course, otherwise the water will sit in there and actually rot out your bulbs. So make sure you got a pot that has drainage holes. For large pots, you can put some plastic bottles, or even like your little containers that your annuals flowers and that came in earlier in the year, and put them down at the bottom of it below the soil level. Not only to help with drainage, it's going to help, you don't need to fill that entire pot with soil. And for big heavy pots that you may be putting tulip bulbs and that in, it will make it a lot easier for you to move. Okay, now with the tulip bulbs go a head again use a nice potting soil, good quality potting soil. Don't use your soil out in your yard. You want a nice potting soil. You can go a head and add a little bit of slow release phosphate like a bone meal down below. Kind of mix it in with your soil if you would like. What you'll want to do though at this point, again, is just to put the bulbs down in. Now, of course, the more bulbs you go with, the bigger impact it's going to have in the spring time. Or not in the spring but necessarily in your house. You can also layer other types of tulips for you're going with a smaller type that blooms at the same type. You can actually put a layer of soil and then do those right around there. If they're going to be a little bit lower, of course, you'd want those on the outside with your taller ones in the middle. Now the more bulbs that you put in, of course, the bigger impact you're going to have. You can put them close. I don't like them to touch that way if one rots out it's less likely to rot out the other one next to it. Now I'm actually a little bit low here on this one with my soil. You just want to cover up the bulb itself. You want to leave just a little bit though down for water and actually help give them a little bit of support. Now this needs to go in to cold storage. It still needs to have its cold storage time. It's not just going to pop up. So for about twelve to sixteen weeks, this needs to go in to an area that is about 45 to 55 degrees. This could be a spare refrigerator, a root cellar and you can even put it down in to the ground its self through out the winer time and force it clean in to next spring to have it out on your front porch. Make sure if you're storing it out side through out the winter months where it freezes though, you mulch around the pot. Leafs, straw, bark product, anything to help insulate it. With straw though be a little bit careful. Sometimes that can have seeds and you can have a mess on your hands when those seeds begin.