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Moving-Forced-Bulbs-Outdoors-thumb.jpg

Moving Forced Bulbs Outdoors

I received a pot of tulips for Valentine's Day.  When would be the best time to plant them and should I let the leaves turn yellow before cutting them?

Forced bulbs can be moved outdoors.  I prefer to water, fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer, and grow them in a sunny location until the foliage naturally yellows and dries.  Wait to move actively growing plants outdoors until after the danger of frost has passed.  Once the foliage dies and bulbs go dormant you can plant them outside as soon as the ground can be cultivated.  Some gardeners store the bulbs in a cool dark location for the summer.  I prefer to get them in the ground as soon as possible to avoid forgetting them in the fall.  Once planted you need to be patient.  The bulbs will produce leaves next spring but the flowers usually do not appear until the following year. 

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