Tulips are showy flowers that are classified as perennial bulbs, but they can be somewhat tricky to grow in warmer climates. Not impossible, but growing tulips in warm climates is a challenge for sure.
Tips for Growing Tulips when the Temperatures are Warm.
Tulips are considered a true bulb. Not all flowering bulbs are actually a bulb. See my article on flower bulbs to help tell the difference between bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers.
Most tulips like to have at least 12-14 weeks of a “cold period” to develop their beautiful flowers. Normally, nature will give this cold period by having the temperatures down and stay below 55 degrees for an extended period.
In warm climates where the soil temperature doesn’t drop for long enough below 55 degrees, you may need to “fool the bulb” into thinking they’ve gone through a this cold period.
Here are some tricks for growing tulips when the temps are warmer:
- Store your tulip bulbs in your kitchen refrigerator. Give them 6 to 16 weeks in a ventilated paper bag. Do not store them next to fruit, especially apples, all ripening fruit is giving off ethylene gas what will kill/damage the flower inside the bulb.
- After the cold period, take them directly from the fridge and be sure to plant the tulips in the coolest part of the year
- Instead of fun sun, try planting them in a part of the garden that has some partial or full shade.
- Plant them 6 to 8 inches deep and mulch heavily
- You can also keep the soil temperature down by regular watering so that the soil is evenly moist.
- Deadhead the tulips after they flower
- Let the foliage yellow for about 6 weeks before removing it. This gives it nourishment for next years flowers.
- Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer weekly for 3 or 4 weeks after flowering
- Stop watering the bulbs after all the leaves are gone and let the ground dry out. The plant is no longer adding nourishment to the bulbs at this time, and the tulips need a dry period during the summer months.
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Have you had luck growing tulips in a warm climate? Please leave your comments below.
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