Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:06 pm
Location: northen Michigan

tulip bulbs

I have acquired about 2 or 3 hundred tulip bulbs and am hoping to get them planted.

Last year we tried storing some bulbs in black plastic bags in the refrigerator all winter and planted them as soon as the ground was workable. Nothing happened; about 3 or 4 out of 2 dozen came up.

I am wondering if anyone has a good way to keep them over the winter, just in case we can't get them planted. One person has said to freeze them, that they have to freeze in order for them to keep and bloom in the Spring. Living in Northern Michigan, and as cold as it can be here, being in the freezer is not going to be too different than being in the garden.

We are also going to put some in some flower boxes and store them in the garage over the winter and bring them out in Spring.

Anyone with any good information on this subject, please answer. We will greatly appreciate it.

Thank you

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Lukey,

I would suggest that you cover the ground where you want to plant with old blankets or sheets. This will keep it from freezing. I did this one year and was planting in January. The ground all around was completely frozen except under the blankets. Only remove enough of the covering to be able to plant. Then water and apply 3" to 4" of mulch.

If you still find you can't finish planting do not store the bulbs in plastic bags. This will lead to fungal infections in the bulbs. Store them in mesh or brown paper bags with some holes so there is air circulation, preferably in the refrigerator, not the freezer. They need to be chilled, not frozen. DO NOT STORE WHERE YOU HAVE FRUIT. Apples and pears are especailly bad for your bulbs and they give off ethylene gas and will kill your bulbs. Check them from time to time. Dispose of any that are soft, dried out or have fungal growth on them.

Another option would be to pot up the remaining bulbs, water and store pots in the garage for 12 to 15 weeks. Take the pots out in the spring and plant your bulbs after blooming.


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

We just plant them into the ground and leave them. However, in the west we have very mild winters.

I always mulch my beds with leaves and manure so, applying this afterwards will help to keep your bulbs relatively warm over winter.

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