One of the popular early spring gifts that gardeners can grow in their home is a container filled with potted bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth. Potted bulbs appear in garden centers and big box department stores in February and remain there until early April. But once these plants wither and die, what do you do with them if you want them to come back next year?
You actually won’t get very good results if you try to rebloom bulbs that have been forced to bloom indoors. Instead, you should move the bulbs outdoors and plant them in your yard. Once the bulbs become established, they will return each year.
Move your pot of flowers to a sunny location in your home and continue to treat the foliage like a house plant. The foliage above the soil collects energy from the sun and stores it in the roots. This helps the bulbs below the roots to develop and prepare energy for next year. The foliage will continue to grow and develop throughout the summer. By midsummer it will wither and die.
Once the foliage above the bulbs dies, stop watering the plant. Allow the soil to dry out. Then dig up the bulbs and remove the tops. Dust them with a fungicide such as sulfur to prevent the growth of fungus on them. Place the bulbs in a brown paper bag filled with peat moss. Store them in a cool, dark place until planting time.
Plant bulbs in early fall for spring blooming the following year. You can plant bulbs in a container garden if you have a large planter, you provide the proper nutrients and you insulate the planter so that the soil does not freeze in the winter. Bulbs can pop up out of the soil if it repeatedly freezes and thaws.
Tulips shouldn’t be replanted. Newer tulip hybrids have a tendency to decline in beauty yearly. For this reason, most landscapers plant them as annuals.