Container Tulips: Back to the Garage You Go!
Last fall I wrote about how I had planted 96 hybrid tulip bulbs in containers for the spring of this year. I prefer to use species tulips, which are smaller and more perennial, in my beds. Judy, however, missed the big, luscious hybrid tulips, and so I thought I would give growing them in containers a try. Tulips in containers bloom once, then go on the compost pile.
When the really cold weather arrived, I moved the containers into the garage. I’ve read that tulips in containers are more vulnerable to freezing temperatures than those in the ground.
We have an attached, unheated garage. I assumed that if I lined the containers along the wall that the garage shares with house, the tulip bulbs would be OK. I did notice during the winter that the surface of the planting mix in the containers was frozen, and I worried a bit how the bulbs were doing.
So imagine my delight two weeks ago when I saw the first red tips of tulip leaves emerging from the containers. At that point it seemed as if spring had finally arrived. I didn’t want my baby tulip leaves to go without sun, so I moved them out to the front steps.
However, as the days passed the arrival of spring turned out to be on hold. Temperatures went below freezing most nights.
Now that I am about to leave on a five day business trip, the low temperature for the week is predicted to be just 15 degrees F (-9 C). So I am moving my poor tulips back into the garage.
Sigh. I hate to deprive them of sunlight (not that we’ve had much of that either), but I’m also afraid of a massive tulip fail due to frozen bulbs.
Are any of you growing tulips in containers?