How to Save Tulip Bulbs for Next Season

How to Save Tulip Bulbs for Next Season

Most gardeners treat their tulips as annuals and purchase new bulbs every year. However, you might want to save your tulip bulbs for next season but are unsure whether this is possible. Well, the good news is that this is possible, but you need to follow certain steps in order to maintain healthy bulbs for the next planting season.

Saving Tulips That Were Planted in the Ground

If you have planted tulips that naturalise then you can leave your tulip bulbs in the ground for years and have successful blooms. However, most tulips struggle to naturalise so you will need to dig them up and store them through the summer months

The ideal steps to take are as followed:

  • Wait for the all the foliage to die back naturally. This is a vital step as the leaves on the tulip plant need to photosynthesize for 4 to 6 weeks after blooming.
  • Next, carefully lift the bulbs from the soil and then clean the bulbs. Leave the bulbs to dry and discard of any bulbs that have been damaged or grown mouldy.
  • Finally, you can store your dried bulbs in paper bags and store them in a cool, dark environment ready for replanting next autumn. We recommend you store your bags of bulbs in a garage or basement.

How to save potted tulip bulbs

Tulip bulbs that have been in pots are much harder to save as they have been exposed to more pressure. When you plant tulip bulbs in pots, they do not receive the same warmth or care that bulbs in the ground get. This results in the bulbs not being able to bloom again.

However, you can follow similar steps as mentioned above if you want to try and save your potted tulip bulbs.

  • As the flower dies back, cut the top of the stem off so that no seeds are produced.
  • Make sure you are keeping the soil moist but not soaking otherwise the bulb will begin to rot.
  • Once the foliage has died back you can remove the bulb from the soil and leave it to dry out. If the bulb smells bad or is mushy you can dispose of it.
  • The rest of the bulbs can be stored as mentioned above.