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Forcing-Tulips-THUMB.jpg

Forcing Tulips

My daughter is planning a May wedding and wants to have tulips for the flowers.  Is this practical?  Do you think I could plant them in pots in my house next fall and hopefully have them in bloom for this wedding?

Growing your own flowers for a wedding is always risky - timing and weather have such an impact on your success.  You could try forcing the tulips.  Plant the ones you like in containers filled with potting mix.  Water and place in the refrigerator for at least 15 weeks.  Remove them from the refrigerator 4 weeks prior to the wedding.  Set them outside or in a sunny window indoors.  Move them to a warmer location if they seem to be developing too slow and a cooler location if they are developing too fast.  Store them in the refrigerator if needed.  I always had a backup plan when managing the wedding flowers for friends.  Often we compromised.  We ordered the flowers or bouquets from a professional florist and used the home grown flowers for the tables and church.  This took the worry off the bride and the pressure off of me.   Check your garden this spring and see what's blooming. Remember spring may come earlier or later in your garden next year.  Consider vases of bleeding hearts or small pots of pansies, primrose and other forced bulbs (tulips, daffodils and hyacinths) to create the beauty of spring for her wedding.

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