The tulip flower is known throughout the world for its spectacular beauty, both in shape and color. Gardening enthusiasts have developed over the years new varieties and types of tulips that are increasingly colorful and with very diverse morphologies. However, most people do not have a patio or garden where they can grow this magnificent flower in the ground directly.
That is why in this article we explain how to care for potted tulips and keep them well, to enjoy them at home without having a suitable soil for cultivation.
How to prepare tulip bulbs for potting
Some aspects must be taken into account before proceeding to the planting of the tulip. In the first place, as it is a plant native to temperate places , it is necessary to subject the bulbs to a cold period , to simulate the autumn climate. To do this, you only need to put them in the refrigerator for about a couple of months before planting them.
On the other hand, we must take into account the measurements of the pot, and the substrate that we will put inside. The recommended size for about 3 or 4 tulip bulbs is between 20 cm and 25 cm in diameter and between 30 cm and 40 cm deep. The pot should have holes in the bottom that facilitate drainage since, if not, fungi could affect the bulb. Regarding the substrate, first some stones or gravel are placed in the bottom to improve drainage. And secondly, you have to choose a well porous substrate that allows you to retain moisture but completely drains the water.
The substrates prepared for pots based on perlite or vermiculite are recommended , which are mineral materials that retain water easily, in addition to favoring aeration. With this substrate, we will fill approximately a little more than half of the pot, and we will reserve a part to later cover the bulbs. If we take into account everything mentioned above, we will have everything we need ready to plant our tulips .
How to plant potted tulip bulbs step by step
Tulip bulbs do not require any special planting, other than that characteristic for the vast majority of bulbs. That is, you just have to follow these steps to plant potted tulip bulbs , after having allowed the recommended cold time to pass.
- Place the bulb in such a way that the base or flattest part, which is where the roots will grow from, is down, tucked into the soil or substrate.
- The separation between bulbs should not be less than 2 cm, since if not, they will not be able to grow normally and the flowering will be weak.
- When you have them all placed in the pot, cover the bulbs with the rest of the substrate, in such a way that they are buried about 5 cm and water abundantly so that the substrate is very moist.
- Now it only remains to wait for the bulbs to develop roots and the stem to emerge from the ground, to continue growing and flourishing.
How to care for potted tulips – practical guide
Once you have planted the tulip bulbs, you have to take into account a follow-up of care so that they develop without problems and be able to get a beautiful flower. These are the basic care of potted tulips :
Light and temperature
If we keep the bulbs indoors, it is necessary to place the pot near a window or in a place with good lighting. For the tulips to develop correctly, the temperatures must range between 15 ºC and 20 ºC and never drop below 5 ºC or the plant will become ill and it will be difficult to recover.
Are tulips sunny or shady?
Tulips are sunny plants , as they need a lot of lighting to be healthy and they withstand direct sun very well. However, they can also be in semi-shady places as long as there is good ambient light nearby and instead will not thrive in shady-only places. Therefore, it is better to keep them outside in full sun and, on the other hand, if we are in a place with quite cold and little natural light, it will be better to bring the pot home.
Watering the tulips
The frequency of irrigation will depend on whether we keep our bulbs inside our house, or in a window or balcony. If it is the first case, it will be necessary to water 2 or 3 times a week . And if the bulbs are outside, watering will not be necessary, as long as the rains are more or less regular.
Tulip flowering and pruning
The duration of the tulip flower will depend largely on the variety of tulip that we have planted. But sooner or later, the petals will wither and the leaves, together with the stem, will begin to yellow. When this happens, we must wait 5 or 6 weeks until the entire plant is yellow, and at this point, we have two options.
First, we can remove the wilted part of the plant and dig up the bulbs , to keep them in a cool and dry place until we plant them again the following year. Or, we can keep the bulbs in the pot as long as we change the substrate to provide new nutrients to our tulips. But if we keep them on the ground, it will be necessary to take the pot outside to provide that cold period that we mentioned above.
If we follow these simple steps, and take into account the aforementioned aspects, we can successfully grow potted tulips, a magnificent plant with very showy flowers, and in the interior of our home, improving the decoration.