Winterizing Tulip Bulbs

By Renee Gerber , last updated May 4, 2011

In order to keep tulips beautiful all year round, it is necessary to winterize their bulbs. Tulips typically will not do well during the cold months of winter unless they undergo this process. Proper storing of tulip bulbs for the winter will ensure they will remain healthy come the spring.

If you have tulips growing in your garden and the coldest season of the year is fast approaching, you will want to dig them up by their bulbs. This is necessary in order to protect them during the winter. Clean off the bulbs when you dig them up by brushing away the excess soil, and avoid watering them.

Select a container to place them in so that you can store them somewhere else. Make sure the housing you select is not made out of plastic. A cardboard box will suffice well for this, and you can spread newspaper on its bottom for added insulation. Place the tulip bulbs inside and add another piece of newspaper on top of them. You can lay more tulips over that and cover them with more newspaper.

Afterward, you should find a spot in which to store the box of tulip bulbs. This should be a dry, cool area that will give the plants shelter against freezing cold weather. Your garage may be sufficient, or storing them in your basement will work. However, make sure that wherever you store the bulbs, it is free of rodents.

If you do not want to dig up your tulip bulbs because you find it to be too much trouble, you can use a different method of winterizing. If your tulips are planted in a location in your garden that receives full sunlight at all times, you can leave them there and cut away about three inches of the plants from their tops after the flowers die away. Don't give them water or fertilizer during the winter so that they can remain dormant. This will ensure that they will return to maximum health during the spring.

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