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Q.My Tulip Bulbs Are Growing in the Cold Garage – What Should I Do?

sgcohen1@comcast.net added on January 15, 2011 | Answered

I planted lots of bulbs in layers in 2 very large containers in October. The containers do have drainage. I put bone meal into the soil along with some vermiculite. I thoroughly watered them and then put them into the garage and covered them with foil. The weather did not get really cold for a while, I live in Southern NJ zone 7. In December I noticed that the shafts were growing and pushing up the foil. I cut them off and added a little water. I also wrapped them in bubble wrap in anticipation of really cold weather. Now in mid January I see that more shafts have grown. What should I do to ensure that I still get flowers in the spring?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 16, 2011

They need to be colder to keep them from growing. There is not much you can do to stop them. If it is staying warmer than usual, you can remove some of the things you have done to keep them from freezing. Also, cut back the water.

Do not trim them though. While the shafts are growing, trimming them will not stop them and will only deplete the bulb's energy and result in smaller flowers.

The good news is that if it gets cold again, they will stop growing and the shafts will not be damaged. Try to get them colder if you can.

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