For gardeners in the northern part of the country, tulips are one of the first harbingers of spring. When they begin poking their leaves up above the ground, it is a sign that the weather is beginning to warm and that the end of winter is finally in sight. In cooler climates, planting tulips is as simple as sticking the bulbs in the ground and waiting for them to bloom each year.
In Boynton Beach, Florida, however, growing tulips is quite a bit more complicated. Tulip bulbs require a period of dormancy in order to continue blooming year after year. In the northern part of the country, this occurs naturally when the temperatures drop during the winter. In Florida, however, the winters are too warm to allow the bulbs to become dormant.
That doesn’t mean that all hope is lost, however. You can still grow tulips in Florida as long as you take a couple of extra steps. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you purchase your bulbs at least two months before you plan on putting them in the ground.
Once you have them, you should place them in a dry paper bag, closing the bag tightly. You should then put the bag in your fridge, placing it in an out-of-the-way area where it won’t get bumped or jostled. Allow the bag to stay in your refrigerator for approximately two months. This will provide the bulbs with the dormant period that they need.
Once the time is up, you can plant the bulbs in your yard or garden. All that you have to do is dig holes that are approximately five inches deep. Place the bulbs in the holes and cover them with soil again. Before you know it, the tulips should start poking their heads up above the ground. Just make sure to water them regularly to keep the soil from drying out too much around them.
One thing that you need to be aware of, however, is that tulips are considered an annual in Florida. That means that they will only bloom once. Even if you dig the bulbs back up and put them in the fridge the following season, they won’t bloom again.
As long as you don’t mind buying new bulbs each year, you should be able to get tulips to grow in Boynton Beach, Florida. It just takes a little bit more work than it does in other parts of the country.