How to grow tulips on a windowsill: methods with and without soil
Tulips are associated with the final arrival of spring when they bloom profusely in flower beds and gardens. But in fact, this plant feels quite well when grown at home, delighting with flowers even out of season. Moreover, tulips can be grown not only in soil but also in water.
OBOZ.UA asked experienced flower gardeners for advice on how to grow this flower on the windowsill. Even a beginner gardener can manage it. All you have to do is to stock up on attention and patience.
How to plant tulips in the ground
Experts advise choosing high-quality and firm bulbs and avoiding those that show signs of damage or rot. To prepare them for forcing, they will have to be cooled. Without this, they are unlikely to grow and bloom properly. Bulbs usually spend 14-16 weeks in the cold ground. At home, it will be enough to put them in a room where the temperature is around 10 degrees or store them in the refrigerator. The main thing is to make sure that they do not freeze.
It is best to cool the bulbs in a paper bag with vermiculite, sawdust, or cat litter. They will protect the seed from moisture. If you store the bulbs in the refrigerator, it is important to keep them away from fruits and vegetables. They can release ethylene, which can cause the bulbs to rot. You can also store bulbs buried in pots of soil in the cold.
After the tulip seed has spent the required amount of time in the cold, it can be planted. Take a relatively shallow container 15-30 centimeters wide, put a small layer of drainage on the bottom, and fill the rest of the volume with loose soil that is well permeable to water and air. The layer of soil should end 7-10 cm from the top edge of the container.
At this point, place the bulbs on the ground with the pointy end up and cover them with soil, leaving the top tips exposed. The distance between them should be about 3 cm. The bulbs can be close together, but they should not touch each other or the walls of the pot
After planting, water the bulbs thoroughly so that the soil settles. Put the pot in a place with a temperature of 12-18 degrees for 2-3 weeks. This will give the bulbs time to acclimatize as a sudden transfer to warmth can harm the plants and tulips will grow leaves only, not bloom. Make sure that the soil in the pots is constantly moist, but not wet.
When the bulbs are fully acclimatized, the pots can be moved to a bright, sunny and warm place. After that, the young plants can be watered adequately. They will bloom in a few weeks.
How to grow tulips in water
Tulip bulbs that have been kept cold can be grown not only in the ground but also in containers with water. However, it is better to choose dwarf varieties for this method.
After the tulips have spent enough time in the cold, they should be placed in a vase. Its shape matters because the bulb should only touch the surface of the water. This way, the roots will develop and the body will not rot. You can find special onion jugs on sale or fill any container you have with pebbles or expanded clay, pour water so that it slightly covers this layer, and place the onion so that the pointed edge looks up.
You can put several bulbs in the same vase, but be sure to leave a distance between them to avoid infection if one is affected. In addition, the bulbs can swell during distillation. Therefore, they need space.
Keep the vase of tulips in a cool and dark place for the first month. This stimulates root development and promotes bulb germination. Change the water weekly during this period. And when the plant begins to sprout, move the vase to a warm, bright place. Avoid direct sunlight and occasionally turn the container 45 degrees to ensure that the plant receives even light.
Make sure there is always water in your vase and that the roots remain moist. But do not let the bulb soak in water. Remember to change the water constantly and maintain the same humidity level. You will be rewarded with beautiful flowers soon.