Potted bulbs - too warm?

okcaha1December 15, 2006

I am a newbie to gardening. This year I got some tulip bulbs for planting in large pots (18"), but only got them to plant a few days ago. Everywhere I read, it is not advisable to keep the pots outside because they WILL freeze in our cold WI winters. So I placed the containers in the basement, which is about 55 degrees or so in the winter. My question: does anybody know if this is too warm for bulbs to chill??? I am afraid they'll come up if this is the case...

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55F is too warm to chill tulips. They will likely start growing if you don't get them colder. You would be better off placing them in the refrigerator in the veggie drawer until ready to put outside. Keep them away from ripening fruits which release a gas that can rot them.

Tulips are fine frozen in ice though, so why not just put the containers outside? I am not clear why you were advised that having them freeze would be an issue. My sister plants hers in a window box it freezes solid for a couple months. If you think about it, our ground can freeze solid to 4 ft down in cold years. Clearly freezing them isn't a problem.

Tulips are really tough and can take the cold. Some folks around our parts even stick them into the ground after Christmas assuming the soil can still be dug. They still do well.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 11:07PM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

Many times I have bought spring bulbs on sale on or around Dec 24 and planted them on Christmas day. They've always done OK. I think this year, with our warmer temps will do the same again. Some nurseries give away whatever hardy bulbs they have left on Dec 24.....they're not gonna sell anyway and it's good PR.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 11:51AM
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