Stage two of growing flowers from bulbs is underway, I’m so excited and I’ve just added yet another reason to look forward to spring. If you haven’t read stage one, ‘It’s Bulb Planting Time’ click here and you can read all about when I planted my purple, papery Hyacinth bulbs. They are going very well by the way. I am keeping them moist and making sure that they get enough sunshine during the day. As the sun travels further north I have to make sure I move them so that they can get the maximum amount of sun available. I have managed to keep them close to a north facing wall so the heat from the wall is retained and radiates out even when the sun is going down.
You might remember that the Tulip bulbs I purchased required 4 to 6 weeks in the freezer. This tricks the bulb into thinking that it has spent a very chilly winter in the ground. When we plant them in Australia in Autumn the soil has usually retained some of the summer heat – depending on the year and your location, so you need them to chill before you plant them.
So, 5 to 6 weeks have past and my bulbs are ready for some potted love.
You can plant Tulips in a prepared garden bed or in a pot. I am planting mine in a pot, not just because my garden is predominantly filled with vegies (which would look quite magical with Tulips popping up) but also because I want to move the pot inside to the sunroom once it flowers. In addition to all these very good reasons, by planting in a pot I know exactly where they. At the end of the Tulip flowering season when the flowers have finished and the leaves have died down I can easily lift the bulbs (i.e. dig them up) wash them, dry them and store them over winter. Then next year at about the same time after 4 to 6 weeks in the freezer I will plant them all over again – it just keeps getting more exciting!
Yesterday in the gorgeous afternoon light and desperately needing some outdoor time I decided that my lovely little Tulip bulbs had spent sufficient time in my freezer and were ready for the next stage in their journey – some potted love! So out I went with my pot, soil, gloves, frozen Tulip bulbs and a will for the little things to produce the most wonderful display for our sunroom when they arrive. I don’t know what colours we will be blessed with but it really doesn’t matter, five flowering Tulip bulbs is all we need.
The most important thing about planting any bulb is that it is planted the right way up. You can see from the picture above that I have planted the bulbs with the pointy end facing up. This end is where all the fabulous green and flowered goodness will come from. If you plant them upside down you’ll be visiting the florist for your fresh Tulips.
Tulip bulbs require deep, moist, well-drained soil enriched with compost and leaving them to do their growing business in a nice sunny position. It also recommends (on this pack) that they be planted 10cm to 15cm apart. I have read just as many articles on planting bulbs that suggest mass planting them in pots and in the garden. If you are not sure, experiment. They are not expensive to purchase. You could plant some in the garden at different spacings or in pots with different numbers. If you do plant them in the garden remember where they are so that you can lift them and plant them again next autumn. By experimenting you can see what the bulbs respond to best and you can see what colours and spacing you prefer.
I am so excited about all the magical little bulbs I have planted over the past few months. I will care for them as best I can and encourage them to burst out of the soil in spring in wonderous colours and perfect health and look forward to displaying them in my home.
I hope you too have enjoyed planting your bulbs, which ever you have decided to plant.
I can’t wait to hear your stories on your bulb flowering successes when they start showing their little green leaves to the heavens in spring. Good luck!