Forum home Plants

Planting out spent tulips from pots

borgadrborgadr Posts: 709
Good morning. If I want to plant out spent tulips from pots into the garden, should I do it "in the green" as soon as the flowers have gone over, or should I wait until the leaves die back?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,570
    Water and feed the bulbs in the pot until the leaves yellow and die(to build up the bulbs again to flowering size).  Then store the bulbs in a paper bag over summer, somewhere cool. Plant the bulbs in the soil where you want them in November to avoid fire blight.
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 709
    Thanks @fidgetbones
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,854
    I dug a hole and planted them as soon as they'd gone over last year. Some are growing back, but I wasn't too fussed if they did or not. 
    I figured I was sticking a bucket of compost into the ground if nothing else. 
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Don’t do what I did. I had tulip bulbs in a pot with a hydrangea. I put the whole lot in the ground and now the tulips are growing under the hydrangea and they’re can’t be dug up and replanted elsewhere. Also I see them in leaf but not in flower, not sure why.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,927
    I planted out a lot into the garden last year. As my tulips never really return I planted them and forgot them, but lots have come back strong this spring. My plan is to do a random 'mosaic' meadow, dotting various types about the place.

    I was advised to plant them as deep as possible. I did. I will do that again. I would just make sure to plant little dinky tulips are in a place they can be seen - not in the middle of a border or they might get lost.

    I have grown Apledoorn this year, which is supposed to return well, I will keep that in a pot and see how it does.

    I enjoy the little uns a lot and am going to plant the likes of Peppermint Stick and Tinka again.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    They wouldn't enjoy being in the site you have them @Ilikeplants. They need quite specific conditions to thrive, and under a hydrangea isn't the place  :)
    Easiest to do as @fidgetbones describes, because of giving them a feed as they die down. If they're species ones, they can go in borders after that no problem. Probably better to keep them stored if it's the other types, but they need the right storage. 
    Some of the bigger, more usual ones will return, but it largely depends on the variety, and the conditions. There aren't as many reliably perennial ones, apart from the common Apeldoorns, and a handful of others, but conditions play a big part. I've had some Ronaldos returning, and they've been better this year, which is probably because of the rare, drier winter here. 
    The species ones will return and will multiply.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    @Fairygirl - yes I’ll have to wait until Autumn at earliest to see if I I can lift the hydrangea to retrieve tulip bulbs or it’s too much work and I’ll just have to buy more bulbs instead. I have other tulips in a tub with rudibeckia and even a philadelphus cutting so not sure if I should separate these soon and get them into the ground when the tulips are done or just leave it as a pot display.
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 709
    Thanks all for the responses. I'll plant some out in autumn and see how it goes.  Nothing to lose, I've just composted them in the past, but always seems a shame.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,927
    You might be surprised
Sign In or Register to comment.