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Common household remedies request

[I'm stickying this because I really want an answer! --lambert]

A friend gave me some tulip bulbs the other day. I'd really like them to bloom this spring. Is that possible? Here's what they look like:


They all look like the bulb at the top left in the photo.

What can I do?

No votes yet


Submitted by Elliott Lake on

.. pot them or plant them, they need soil & nutrition, but they are good and healthy looking. They will need something like 10-12 weeks to do it, and to be cold the time, (circa 40-45F) but they should be fine.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on


Oh, and I apologize if I've offended anyone - I've been using words like balls and penis with great abandon the past couple of days.

Damnit, what's wrong with me???

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

I did this once, back in the 1990s, so my recall might be a little off. But it worked!

Put them in a brown paper bag (or some other lightproof bag) at the back of your refrigerator produce drawer. Leave them there for 6 weeks, then plant them. I'm guessing that it's too cold to dig down deep enough to plant them in the ground now. If you wait 6 weeks, it will be easier to get them in the ground. (That's one virtue of the refrigerator method, anyway.)

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

Well, you could plant one or two in a pot, and see if they'll bloom indoors. If your ground isn't frozen, you could plant the others outside and see how they'll do.

I think you plant tulips about 4 inches deep, but that's worth googling to check.

Submitted by Lex on

The bulb is last year's stored energy, so they have what they need to do this year's job. They'll bloom and then veg through the late spring to store energy for next year.

Have they gotten their dormancy? If so, put them in pots and let 'em rip in a sunny window or put them outside on warmish days and bring them in for the night if it's really cold.

Are these the actual bulbs in question? If so, it looks like they've gotten their dormancy and been warmed and are starting the years growing process so it would be best to do something with them soon to not mess up their cycle.

After they finish blooming, heel them into some loose soil somewhere in the yard and let them finish their vegetative growth naturally. When they die back, remove the bulb and plant them in their final location.

Many serious tulip gardeners (like my grandfather back in the day) dig them up and replant every year in the fall where they're wanted for blooming. When the blooms finish the whole bed will be removed and heeled in elsewhere so that the bed can be planted with something else.

thebewilderness's picture
Submitted by thebewilderness on

They have already set bud for blooms. They did it last last summer while the foilage ripened. Usually they spend the winter eight inches deep growing a root system.
Even if you are going to force them they still need to develop a root system.
Plant them it pots and either leave them out in the not too cold (35-48) or in the garage if it is freezing outside.
They need to be cold to develop roots without the tops shooting up in a truly weak and absurd way.
When the weather starts to war bring them out into the light.
It depends on the kind of tulip and your climate whether you will get succeeding years of bloom.
Next time plant em in the fall.

Submitted by lambert on

Especially the one at top left. However, I'm not seeing a root system at all.

1. Does this help narrow down what stage of development they're in (and hence what to do?)

2. Can I encourage roots, say with a rooting hormone?

Submitted by Lex on

They're generally used only for propagation, but i have heard of people dipping the bottom of a bulb into rooting hormones. Really, that shouldn't be necessary. Get them into deep pots and let them do their thing in the not too warm. But remember, pots will freeze solid if left out too long in the too cold.

They'll put out roots pretty quickly. Plants are pretty good at taking care of themselves.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Sometimes you have to marvel at straight-line potential.

Submitted by lambert on

Plant 'em four inches deep in a deep pot? That seems to be the consensus, here. Not sure about the refrigerator solution.