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tulips in containers

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tulips in containers

Postby isabelbrinck » May 08, 2008 9:21 pm

Seacat! What a coincidence... just after I read your response to my "Indoor Gardening" thread, I was searching for info on tulips and came across a GREAT thread involving your suspenseful and successful tulips in containers!

http://www.canadiangardening.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7710&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=tulips&&start=0

So cool.

So, tell me: I just brought home a pot full of tulips from a reception I was organizing, and now all the blooms have fallen off and I'm wondering if I can do anything to revive the flowers in the future, even if that is next Spring. I got a lot of information from that thread but I'm missing the beginning. Where do I start with a tulip plant that was thriving 2 seconds ago?

(I think I was unable to attach a photo of the plant while still living, so here is a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isabelbrinck/2469032574/)
Isabel
Montreal, QC
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Tulips

Postby seacat » May 09, 2008 5:32 pm

Wow Girl, sounds like we gotta talk ! :)

I've loved tulilps since I was a kid but only in the last year or two had put any time or thought into growing them or gardening with them so take everything I say with a grain of salt BUT from all I've read, most of the hybrid tulips may not come back in subsequent years or won't come back as nicely as the first year which is why apparently most large gardens, eg the Osgoode Hall here in Toronto, or the Royal Bot. Gdns in Hamilton give away or discard their bulbs each year (!! I know!) and plant new ones every year. Hence the busyness of the Dutch each year getting the world yet another fresh batch of bulbs and flowers.

Having said that, you could certainly try. You can leave the bulbs in dry soil, some people say peat, I've removed them from soil and put them in mesh bags to keep air circulation going because your biggest concern will be fungus. Then plant them up again in fall, do the whole protection thing on the balcony over the winter and see if they bloom again next year. You might only get a lot of leaves. If you REALLY like tulips, you could try to identify the specific type and find out whether they are likely to come back again. I'd start by googling the type and see what you get back.

I'm assuming that the tulips you got at the reception were probably hybrids. Most tulips available from florists, etc at this time of the year are.

The tulips won't bloom again this year. In order to bloom again, they'll have to go through a chilling period, i.e. winter on the balcony.

NOW, the above relates largely to hybrid tulips but apparently the "species tulips", the original tulip before they were hybridized, are much more likely to perennialize. These are usually smaller and shorter than the hydbrids. I also planted some of these last year and some of them are coming up now. I'll try to post a pic in the future. Since this is my first year 'raising' tulips, I don't know what sort of luck I'll have with the same batch of species tulips blooming again next spring.

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Postby isabelbrinck » May 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Thanks! This is a good start. I didn't know about hybrids vs old school tulips. I have only planted bulbs once and they didn't work out (I don't think the soil was deep enough), but I like to expand my knowledge and my experience so what have I got to lose? :)

See you around!
Isabel
Montreal, QC
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Postby Lizcordysmum » May 11, 2008 8:17 pm

"Blueberry Frosting" will bloom again the second year...I have it in a ceramic pot, down deep enough that I can plant annuals on top and not dig up the bulbs...I do sprinkle bonemeal in with all of my spent spring bulbs, altho some folks say it takes forever to break down in the soil???

I USUALLY dig up all of my planters and pots and railing boxes, and I have a special "holding" box just for these at the side of the yard. I make sure I have lots of the soil they are growing in...daffs, tulips, hyacinths, and the tiny weenie things too. Bonemeal, and I really pile them on, bury them in good garden soil...I do not get as many as I put in here (the following autumn, for spring-planting) but I get enough. And, there is always lots of new varieties to buy and look forward to!

you must remember to keep this bed watered and not let it dry out in the heat of summer...if you choose to do it too. Mulch with grass clippings to hold in moisture. A cool location would be better than the full sun I've got, where it is.

Good luck!
Cordy's Mum, Liz
Rain Coast, BC Zone 7b/8a


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