Updated at: 15-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Are you unsure about the best way to keep tulip bulbs? You can count on us. It’s certainly worth the effort if you want to get the most out of your bulbs.

Tulips’ satin-like petals and dazzling array of colors make them a springtime staple. Then then, they can be a little more fussy than other people. There are some bulbs that can be left in the ground year-round like crocuses and daffodils (like anemones and snowdrops), but tulips are not one of them. This year’s show will be far less impressive if they rebloom (and some simply won’t).

Every year, it is possible to purchase new tulip bulbs; however, if you plan to plant them all over your yard, the costs might rapidly mount up. To save money, you can remove them from the ground when they’ve finished blooming and transplant them in the fall. You’ll get a lot greater display and save money if you put in the extra effort to keep them out of the ground. What better time than now to give it a whirl? Below, you’ll find all the information you need on how to keep tulip bulbs.


Tulip planting is a simple process that everyone can learn. It’s even more important to learn how to store tulip bulbs in order to maximize their lifespan. Just a few basic actions are all that is needed to ensure a spectacular springtime display.

  1. Tulips, unless they are’species’ varieties, should be encouraged to disseminate their seeds for additional blooms, should be deadheaded once the flowers have faded. However, resist the urge to remove any of the leaves. Keep it intact so that it can supply the bulb with nutrients. Six weeks after flowering, the leaves should be yellow and dying. The moment has come to raise them.
  2. With the foliage still attached, carefully lift the bulbs with a garden fork.
  3. Remove any diseased or damaged plants after they’ve been lifted and brushed clean.
  4. After that, store them in trays or a net bag in a dark, well-ventilated area. Monty Don, a horticultural expert on Gardeners’ World, explains that the best thing you can do is keep them warm and dry (opens in new tab). If you can, keep the temperature above 20°C [68°F].’
  5. Separate the bulbs once they’ve dried out. Your primary bloomer for the following year is the large bulb. In the fall, plant this like a new bulb. You should plant the smaller ones in pots and identify them so that you can keep track of them next year. You should also remove the flowerheads when they appear, as advised by Monty. With time, they will bulk out and be ready for planting in the garden.

How Long Do Tulip Bulbs Last Unplanted - Krostrade


As long as the conditions are right, you may store tulip bulbs for up to a year out of the ground. Keep in mind that bulbs typically have a “best before” date, so keep this in mind as well.

Ensure that they are firm and plump to the touch – not soft and squashy – before planting them in the ground. In this case, it’s time to acquire new ones if it’s one of the above.

Learn how to plant hyacinth bulbs to enhance your spring decor.

Tulip bulbs can be found here…


Tulips can be used in a variety of creative ways, from bulb lasagnes to basic window box displays. Leaving them up all year round, on the other hand, is unlikely to produce a repeat performance.

The question of whether to treat tulips as annuals or perennials is hotly debated, although Monty Don believes that they should be treated as annuals in a container. They perform their job, they’re great, then you go on.

They’re less likely to bloom again than bulbs planted directly in the ground because of the more difficult growing conditions they’ve experienced. A lot of gardeners just toss out their old bulbs after they’ve done blooming and replace them with fresh ones the following fall. However, it’s worth a go at lifting, saving, and replanting them for the upcoming year’s planting.


There’s no law against leaving your tulip bulbs alone if digging them up seems like too much work. However, in most cases, you should be prepared for a less remarkable performance.

Some tulip cultivars, on the other hand, can be kept in the ground all year and still bloom. Miniature varieties such as Tulipa kaufmannianu and Tulipa fosteriana can be used for naturalizing, as well as smaller species like Tulipa greigii (see below). The RHS recommends that they be lifted and divided only when the clumps become overloaded (opens in new tab).

Although it is uncommon, some cultivars that are grown in hot, dry conditions, as those found in deserts, may flower year after year and even reproduce.

In this guide, you’ll discover some of our favorite tulip varieties.

How Long do Bulbs Last Unplanted? - GFL Outdoors


Tulip bulbs, unlike snowdrops and daffodils, are not widely known for their ability to spread naturally. Tulips indeed have the ability to brighten up a landscape, but not all of them are equal. These tend to be the Triumph and Darwin Hybrid types, as well as ‘species’ tulips.

How Long Do Tulip Bulbs Last Unplanted?

Long answer: Bulbs, unlike seeds, have a limited shelf life, so they must be planted as soon as possible. Your seeds will never go bad since you can plant them whenever you want. On the other hand, appropriate bulb storage is necessary to preserve their quality.

How you preserve your tulip bulbs affects how long they last. They’ll last a whole year if you keep them carefully and at the correct temperature. As the toughest flowers, spring bloomers (like tulips) have a longer vase life since they may survive for up to a year without being planted.

Despite these differences, bulbs are still classified as plants and contain a plethora of nutrients. When the bulb is planted, the flower inside will begin to grow. Bulbs need the same kind of care from gardeners if they are to live.

How to Tell If Your Bulbs Are Still Good

In the case of old tulip bulbs, you may worry if they’re good enough for planting. Bulbs can be judged as good or bad in several ways.

Tip #1: Check for molds

If there are any molds on the bulbs, inspect them. If this is the case, it’s time to get rid of them.

Tip #2: Smell the bulb

If any of the bulbs smell rotten or unpleasant, do not plant them.

Tip #3: Squeeze the bulb

Squeeze the bulb gently. It’s not suitable for planting if it’s mushy or ruined. Even when the bulb is dry and withered, it is not acceptable.

Tip #4: Cut the bulb

Cutting open a bulb to determine if it’s suitable for planting is a terrific method to find out. But if you have a huge collection of bulbs that were kept together in storage, you should only use this procedure. To see the stem or flower bud, take one from that batch and cut it in half at the middle. If the bulb is brown, rotting, or lighter in color, it should be thrown out with the rest of the bulbs in the same storage container.

Tip #5: See if it floats

Put your tulip bulbs in a bucket filled with water. If it floats, it’s an indication that your bulbs are rotten and lighter compared to healthier bulbs. As a result, it’s preferable to dispose of these bulbs in the trash.

Why Should You Plant Your Tulip Bulbs in a Greenhouse?

Planting your bulbs in a little greenhouse is a good idea once you’ve divided them for planting. If you haven’t already, you should:

Protection from pests that harm tulip bulbs

Tulip bulbs can be eaten by aphids, thrips, bulb flies, bulb mites, and other pests. Keep an eye out for pests and take preventative actions to keep your bulbs clear of infestation. To keep them safe, they should be grown in a little greenhouse, where they won’t be exposed to pests.

Start growing your bulbs early

You can manage the greenhouse’s temperature with the use of heating or cooling equipment and other natural ventilation. The microclimate created by your plants can therefore be tailored to their needs. Using this method, you’ll be able to grow and harvest tulips all year round.

How Long do Bulbs Last Unplanted? - GFL Outdoors

Protection from bad weather

Difficulty handling: tulip bulbs There is a risk that your flowers will not grow properly if they are subjected to severe rain, high winds, or excessive heat. A greenhouse is a great place to cultivate your flowers because it keeps them protected from the elements. Tulips can be planted in your garden whenever the weather improves.

Conclusion: How Long Do Tulip Bulbs Last Unplanted?

It’s not certain how long unplanted tulip bulbs last. Your tulip bulbs can last for up to a year if you keep them correctly. Although this does not indicate that you should store them for a year, it is a good idea to do so. Bulb planting is best done as soon as the weather permits. Waiting longer increases the risk of decay and other problems developing.