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How to Propagate Tulips

How to Propagate Tulips

Tulips are a vibrant perennial that blooms in brilliant colors in spring. Tulips are also one of the easiest plants to propagate as they do most of the work themselves. The advantage to using bulbs with offset buds is that they are genetically identical to the main tulip plant. Tulip bulbs regenerate and grow best in cooler temperatures.

Dig the Bulbs

Once the leaves of the tulip have wilted and perished, it’s a good time to begin to dig up the bulbs. This is a process that requires gentle care so as not to damage the bulb. Only remove the bulbs that are beginning to show signs of buds. Remove any outer leaves from the tulip bulb.

Preparing the Bulbs

Prepare the bulbs by removing any dirt or debris around the roots of the tulip. Rinse the bulb of any remaining soil and dry thoroughly which could take approximately 2-3 days.

Separate the Buds

Pull or use a knife to separate the offshoots of the tulip bulb. Be gentle so as to avoid harming the offsets or the tulip bulb. To prevent the tulip bulbs from rotting, coat the new bulbs and the old bulbs where they have been left exposed with sulfur and store in a cool, dark, dry place until ready to plant.

Planting the Bulbs

The new bulbs will be ready to plant in the fall. Choose a sunny location away from strong winds and with a free draining soil. It may take more than two years for the new bulbs to mature enough to bloom.