Tucked Away Tulips
February 18, 2009
I discovered a grocery bag of forgotten tulips crammed into a bottom shelf when cleaning up my grow-op area in the basement. I knew I had an extra bag somewhere! Of course, I couldn’t find it for the life of me back in fall 2008 when I was planting them out for this spring.
When I looked inside the bag, I saw this:
Ack! They’re growing and I don’t know what to do! Can I save them? Should I plant them and grow them indoors? I need to find answers.
It’s too bad as these are some of the 3 million tulips that are planted in the City of Ottawa’s Tulip Festival. Most of them are saved by the City for re-planting in the next festival, however, many are dug up and discarded to rot in a super secret location once all the hoopla is done.
What to do?
After showing my picture of my sprouting tulip bulbs to a Richie Feed and Seed customer service agent, apparently I have three options:
- Pot up the bulbs and put in a south-facing window. The stem will probably be weak and there won’t be any decent bloom on the tulip.
- Pot up the bulbs and put in the fridge for 10 weeks to develop a root system. I can also put them in the garage as long as the temperature stays around 0°C to 5°C. If it freezes solid, the bulbs will turn to mush in the soil.
- Store the bulbs in a cool, dark place in paper and plant out in spring. They will not bloom this year, though maybe next.
As the bulbs are already shooting, it’s unlikely that I’ll get a decent bloom out of them this year. I think I’m going to put a few bulbs through each option and see which one does best. Ooo! I feel an experiment coming on!