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How to take care of bulbs

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:44 am
by GloriaC
Hello everyone. This is my first post and I'm very excited about finding help. Last fall I planted my first bulbs. (Tulips) They turned out great!!! Now all the flowers are gone but I still have some foliage. Is it time for me to dig the bulbs up and if so what steps do I take? Do I put them anywhere special?

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:12 pm
by pepper4
Welcome GloriaC. I can't answer your question but you may want to try posting in the perennial section. You'll probably find alot of help there. :D

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:18 pm
by Kisal
I'm not familiar enough with your area to know whether tulips would have to be lifted and stored for the winter or not. I can tell you that you should allow the leaves to die back before you dig the bulbs. That is how the bulb stores enough food to support the flowers for the next year.

Just leave the bulbs where they are until the leaves turn yellow and then brown. When the leaves look dead, and you can pull them loose with a gentle tug, it will be time to dig and store your bulbs. If none of the members here can advise you on whether to dig the bulbs or leave them in the ground, you can always ask at a good nursery in your area (not a big box type of store, but a real nursery), or else just phone your local Extension service. :)

tulip bulbs

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:01 am
by rainbowgardener
Tulips are very cold hardy. If you are in an area with cold winters, don't do anything to them. Cut back the foliage after it is brown and wilted and leave the bulbs alone (maybe feed them before winter). The question is whether it gets cold enough where you are. Tulips need a period of chilling. They are usually rated for USDA zones 3-7. You didn't say where in SC you are. From a map, it looks like either zone 7 or 8. So if you are in the south part of the state, probably you would need to dig the bulbs up in the fall and store them in the frig. In the north, perhaps not, but it would be a good idea to talk to someone that grows tulips in your area and see what they say.