How to propagate tulips

Written by julie richards Google
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How to propagate tulips
Tulips and tulip bulbs (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A spring perennial, tulips bloom in hundreds of colours and combination of colours. 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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Spade or shovel
  • Paper towels
  • Sharp knife
  • Drying screen
  • Sulphur powder (available in garden centres)

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    Coat the new bulbs and exposed sections of the old bulbs with sulphur powder. The sulphur keeps the bulbs from rotting.

  5. 5

    Plant the bulbs in the garden during the fall. The new bulbs may take two or more years to mature enough to flower.

Tips and 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.

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