A spring perennial, tulips bloom in hundreds of colors and combination of colors. People have grown tulips for over 400 years. The bulbs need a period of cold weather to regenerate and grow. As the tulip bulb grows, it forms small bulblets. These tiny bulbs grow into a mature tulip bulb within a few years. Once the new bulb matures, it grows the same type of flower as the parent bulb. Tulip seeds are not dependable to develop a tulip true to the parent.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Spade or shovel
- Paper towels
- Sharp knife
- Drying screen
- Sulfur powder (available in garden centers)
- Dig up the tulip bulbs once the leaves have died back. Use care when digging to keep damage to a minimum. Remove the bulbs that have developed bublets. Remove the leaves from the tulip bulbs.
- Shake off the soil from the roots of the tulip bulbs. Wash the bulbs to remove any remaining soil. Dry the bulbs with paper towels. Set the bulbs on a drying screen for two to three days to let the bulbs dry.
- Pull the bulblets from the parent bulb gently to avoid damage to the tulip bulb or the offsets. Use a sharp knife to separate the bulblets, if necessary.
- Coat the new bulbs and exposed sections of the old bulbs with sulfur powder. The sulfur keeps the bulbs from rotting.
- Plant the bulbs in the garden during the fall. The new bulbs may take two or more years to mature enough to flower.
Tips & Warnings
You will know it is time to propagate the tulips when flowering decreases or even ceases. Another sign is a decrease in flower size.