Tulip Seeds

Asked June 28, 2013, 9:19 PM EDT

I live in Idaho and I was looking for a way to find information about tulip seeds. when I ran across your web site, and seen a question about tulip seeds but there was nothing about how to get tulip seeds from the pod. There is a lot of good questions and answers. Please contact me by my E-Mail thank you

Bonneville County Idaho

1 Response

Thanks for your question. I don't have any experience with tulip seeds and my suspicion is that it is a very narrow field of horticulture. The only people I can think of who would be interested in collecting and growing tulips from seed are tulip breeders or people who are interested in propagating tulip species rather than cultivars.

That being said, it should be fairly easy to collect and germinate the seeds. I've never done it, but I assume you would need to wait until the seed pod is fully mature and dry, but before it splits open and drops the seed. Dry pods could be put in a paper bag and allowed to open on their own, or they could be broken open and the seed extracted.

Once you have the seed it needs to be cold stratified before sowing. This can be done by placing the seed in a plastic bag with moist (not wet) vermiculite and held in a refrigerator at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 months. The seed can then be removed and planted. Alternatively, you could just plant the seed outside in the fall and let it chill naturally over the winter. Remember that when a tulip seed germinates it will look like a blade of grass, so be careful not to mistake it for a weed. Also remember that tulips grown from seed may take 3-5 years to flower.

If you have further questions, you could contact me at Larry.Rupp@usu.edu. In this system I don't have your e-mail and cannot contact you directly.

Good luck!