Tulip bulbs

Asked May 3, 2017, 11:14 AM EDT

Living in Fla. and having no winter, After my tulip flowered and left to dry out, I recently got the bulbs uncovered and I proceeded to clean them off. I then peeled off the outer skin and w/babies they appeared white. Did I go too far? Can they be saved. Just something I thought I would try. What is my next step, short of disposing of them. Thanking you in advance. John

Lee County Florida

1 Response

Thank you for your tulip question. Bulbs need to be left in the ground, except for very brief periods to be transplanted or divided, if new bulbs formed. After the plant flowers, the leaves continue to photosynthesize, creating sugar that is stored in the bulb. That creates a 'food pantry' for the bulb to create a flower the next year. By removing the leaves, you've ensured no more flowers. you can replant, but odds are long the bulb(s) will bloom again. If you buy more bulbs, just leave them in the soil all year. Mother Nature will do whatever cleaning is necessary--and nature is dirty! Good luck.