Tips for Growing Tulips Indoors

Although tulips look beautiful in vases, they aren’t often considered houseplants. It’s because they need a little bit more preparation than other blooming plants, but the extra work is worth it to bring the beauty of these flowers into your home.

Vernalization, often known as “forcing,” is a technique used to grow tulips indoors by putting the bulbs through cold temperatures for an extended period. This is done to imitate the onset of winter and then transition them to higher temperatures to imitate the onset of spring. It’s simpler than it seems to imitate nature by keeping tulip bulbs intact in the soil throughout the winter so that they can bloom in the spring. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the steps involved in growing tulips indoors.

Steps to Growing Tulips Indoors

To successfully grow tulips inside the home, one must use high-quality bulbs and “push” them into a dormant state over the winter. Then, all that needs to be done to make sure they succeed is to create a growing environment as good as springtime.

1. Pick “Good for Growing” varieties and have the pot ready.

A pot of budded flowers make a wonderful midwinter gift and a beautiful reminder that spring is around the corner. So, select early blooming tulip bulbs for sale, such as ‘Single Early’ or ‘Triumph,’ from a reliable planting company in early October. Pick a few 12 cm long, heavy, and firm bulbs to grow your own garden. If you invest in big bulbs, you will have bigger flowers. One must remember to start working on the project at least 16 weeks prior to the time they want the flowers to bloom.

Then, fill a pot 6 to 8 inches deep, 6 inches wide, and make drainage holes with a mixture of 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 grit and perlite, allowing at least 2 inches of space underneath the rim. You can start the project in any type of container, either a 6-inches pot that can hold 6 to 7 bulbs or a bigger one for a bigger garden, as long as it has drainage holes. By doing this, you can be sure that your soil mixture will drain quickly and stop decay-causing fungi from growing.

2. Plant bulbs in a pot, cover them with water, and store them in a cool place for 12-13 weeks.

Place the bulbs with their pointy side up, in the mixture without pressing them down. Only the tops of the bulbs should be visible, so add extra dirt around them and water them well, allowing the water to drain. You may place them close to one another in the pot if you want to have a bigger garden. The best thing about growing tulips is they don’t need fertilizer because the bulbs already contain the necessary nutrients.

After placing them in a suitable container, the bulbs may now undergo a cold treatment between 35 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit (2 and 8 degrees Celsius). Refrigerate the container on a drainage plate but be sure not to freeze it. Also, avoid placing the bulbs near the farm produce because fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas as they ripen. This gas is not good for the health of your tulip bulbs. You may also place the pot in a uniformly dark and cool place for 12–13 weeks for the most reliable results.

3. Water the tulip bulbs regularly for the best results.

Always remember to water the plants regularly to keep the mixture slightly damp. You may also consider investing in a mini fridge dedicated to tulips and water the pot of bulbs regularly. Do not totally dry out the bulbs but also avoid keeping it too wet to keep them from rotting. It might seem daunting at first but you will soon get the hold of it after a number of trials and errors.

Also remember to cover the tulip container with a plastic shopping bag, including some ventilation holes.

4. When the first sprouts appear, bring the tulip bulb back from the cold.

After 12 to 13 weeks, little pale green and yellow leaves, approximately 1 to 2 inches, will emerge from the soil.  It is the ideal time to take the pot out and place it in a spot with low light having warmer environment of minimum 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius) with shielded light a couple of feet away from windows. The pot should be placed in this condition for 5-7 days, or until the shoots become entirely green, to acclimate them to “spring” temperatures.

The last step is to place the container in a location that receives indirect sunlight and is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you rotate the container once daily according to the sunrays, your flowers will grow straight and blossom in around three to five weeks. The only thing you need to do now is watering the pots regularly and trimming off the dead petals occasionally but avoid cutting back the foliage. It might seem daunting in the beginning but you will soon get a hold of it over time.

Although the same tulip bulbs cannot be pushed inside a second time, they may be kept in the same container and moved outside in the early autumn to cool naturally and perhaps bloom again if given a chance. To become a professional tulip grower, one must understand everything about the flowers and their reaction to the changing weather conditions.

As soon as the winters pass, remove the clump of bulbs from the pot. You may now plant them outdoors, in the backyard with a well-drained condition. Remember to fertilize the beautiful flowers with perennial food and watering them regularly until their color turns beautiful yellow.

When their buds turn yellow, it is safe to trim them back as the bulbs will flower again the following year. These early spring bloomers need an extended cold period to reset themselves for new blooms. You can force them into seasonal blooms for one-time display but do not repeat the procedure and keep them in a good shape.

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