Indoor tulip bulbs

Asked January 21, 2018, 5:30 PM EST

I received a pot with tulips in it as a gift for the end of the school year last year. The tulips died and I just left them in my pantry on the windowsill. My pantry is heated but is much cooler than the rest of my old house. I looked at the pot and they look like they are starting to sprout. Do I water them? Have them been dormant enough to grow?? It would be wonderful, if I could keep them alive.

Dodge County Wisconsin tulips

1 Response

Thank you for your tulip question. As you’ve learned, your tulip bulbs didn’t die! However, unless it gets some TLC, it can’t bloom and live forever. Bulbs need water, nutrients and sunlight to survive. It sounds as if it’s gotten only sun. So, water it (don’t leave it in standing water), with some weak water-soluble fertilizer added. Keep it in sunlight so long as there are leaves, and don’t remove the leaves until they are yellow. Many bulbs do better planted outside since they receive full sun, which they need to photosynthesize and return ‘food’ to the bulb for next year’s flower. Once the leaves are gone, you can plant the bulbs outside in a sunny location. Add some bonemeal to the hole(s), which should be twice as deep as the bulb is wide, and between 4 and 6 inches apart. Tulips don’t bloom forever, but you may get another 5 years from them. Good luck!