Tulips are popular garden plants that are well suitable for yards and containers. But can you plant tulips in a hanging basket? If you are thinking of growing tulips in a hanging basket, this article will be a helpful guide.
As a general rule, tulips can be grown in any container, including the hanging basket, if the pot is deep enough to plant the tulips in it. A sunny spot, fertile, well-draining soil mix, temperatures below 55°F, and frequent watering will be ideal for tulips growing in hanging baskets.
This article will discuss every factor involved in growing tulips in hanging baskets.
Do tulips grow well in hanging baskets?
Tulips are outdoor plants, and if you have a garden or backyard, it’s better to grow tulips there only since the garden will provide the right growing conditions.
It’s not that they won’t grow well in containers or hanging baskets. You can grow tulips in hanging baskets annually.
Hanging baskets are a little stressful for them since the growing space is less, and therefore they need good care for establishing themselves. The planting process of tulips in hanging baskets is more or less similar to the garden tulips.
In warmer zones for hanging baskets, too, tulips will require a chilling period of 8 to 10 weeks before they are planted. Tulips such as Triumph, single early, Darwin Hybrids are suitable for hanging baskets.
How long do tulips will last in hanging baskets?
Tulips in hanging baskets can last for a minimum of several weeks to a maximum of several months, and they will take 8 to 16 weeks to bloom.
Tulips are outdoor garden plants, and planting them in hanging baskets won’t give them the ideal conditions to grow as perennials.
Tulips in hanging baskets can last for a season, and they need to be planted every year and grow as annuals.
When should you plant tulips in a hanging basket?
Tulips in hanging baskets are planted roughly the same time they are planted in gardens.
Plant your tulip bulbs in early autumn. Plant them in northern climates with cooler winters in September or October, and in southern climates with mild winter, plant them in November or December.
Sometimes plants in hanging baskets are planted a bit earlier because the soil in the basket warms up faster than the ground soil. In cases of frosts, you can bring them indoors to shelter them from nighttime temperatures.
How many tulip bulbs can you plant in a hanging basket?
You should plant tulip bulbs so that all the bulbs get a lot of space for growth. You should space the tulip bulbs one inch apart.
If you plant more bulbs, it will result in more blooms, which will increase the competition for nutrients and water. You can choose a 30 cm hanging basket that can hold up to 25 medium size tulip plants.
How to plant tulips in hanging baskets?
The steps involved in planting tulips in a hanging basket are:
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Selection of hanging basket
Tulips are planted with an extensive roots system, so choose a big size hanging basket for planting tulips as it will be able to hold more tulip bulbs, providing them with their adequate growing space.
You can choose a 30 cm pot that can grow up to will 25 tulip bulbs.
The lining of the hanging basket
In this step, you will need to line the basket. Materials such as coco coir or moss liners are good options as they will offer good drainage and prevent the soil mix from falling.
Then you can line the bottom of liners to prevent water from rushing out the bottom of the basket during watering.
For that, you can spread a plastic dish or a garbage bag in the bottom of the liner to increase water retention. Make holes in the liner to allow drainage and water retention.
Addition of potting soil
It is the most crucial step, and here you need to select a high-quality potting mix for growing tulips in hanging baskets. I do not prefer using garden soil as it is too heavy and may carry pathogens.
Container tulips will require a lightweight potting mix or compost. You can also add some water-retentive granules to the soil mix.
First of all, moisten the soil before planting and add more soil to settle it. Fill the container halfway will the soil mix. Also, add slow-release fertilizer to the soil mix before planting the bulbs.
Arrange the bulbs
Place the tulip bulbs against the inside edge of the basket and move your way to the middle.
Push the flat side of the bulb deep into the soil and make sure the pointed end of the bulb faces up. Plant the bulbs at a depth twice its diameter.
After that, cover the bulbs entirely with soil and press it firmly. Space your tulips bulbs one inch apart.
Add water to the bulbs
Water the bulbs thoroughly after you plant them. After that, water them 2-3 times every week.
If you are hanging them outside, then avoid watering them during rainfalls.
Keep the hanging basket aside.
After planting bulbs in the hanging baskets, you need to leave them in a place for 12 to 16 weeks that has a temperature of 45-55°F.
They will need a dormancy period to bloom in spring. Make sure the temperatures are consistent. A temperature change can cause bulbs to rot.
Hang the tulips’ basket outside
After the dormancy period is over, you will find tulip sprouts starting to appear in the basket, and after 5 to 6 weeks, the plant will have blooms.
Hang the basket in a place where they will get a good amount of direct sunlight, like on a balcony or a window. Make sure the outside temperature has warmed up at least 60°F when you are hanging them.
Tulip care in a hanging basket
Proper care of hanging tulips is crucial for their healthy growth. The factors influencing tulip’s growth are:
- Pruning and maintenance
- Pest infestation
- Annual replanting
Let us now discuss each point in detail.
Tulips in hanging baskets need sunlight but won’t do well in extremely high temperatures.
Hang the tulip baskets in a location where they will receive sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. They will require some shade in burning temperatures, and at such time, you can hang them indoors.
The hanging basket’s soil will often get hotter than the soil in the yard or garden, so keep it out of the direct sunlight and water them frequently.
Any wilting in the plant will Indicate that they need water and relocation of a hanging basket.
Tulips bulbs just after they are planted will require a chilling period at 40 to 45°F for 12 to 16 weeks. They should move out from the chilled conditions 5 to 6 weeks before the anticipated boom.
For the first 4-5 days, keep them in cool and dark conditions, then move them to a sunnier location when they begin to flower. The ideal temperature for tulips in a hanging should be below 55°F.
Tulips in hanging baskets will require immediate watering after planting, and then they require continuous watering during their dormancy phase.
When the dormancy period ends, you can water them whenever the topsoil feels dry to touch. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Always check the soil before watering.
Hanging baskets tulips will need more watering since they are subjected to drying winds. They will require watering every 2-3 days a week, but make sure you don’t overwater them.
The soil for tulips should be rich, well-draining, fertile, well-aerated, and it must contain organic matter that will provide enough nutrients to the plant.
Do not use garden soil as it is heavy, has poor drainage, or lacks nutrients. Use commercial potting mix or well-drained compost for growing tulips in hanging baskets.
Generally, tulips in hanging baskets won’t require feeding as they are discarded after the blooming season. However, they need fertilization once a year when they are planted in the fall.
A slow-release fertilizer with a nutrient ratio of 10:10:10 works well for tulips.
Pruning and maintenance
Tulips generally require very little maintenance or no maintenance with forced bulbs.
It’s beneficial to deadhead the flowers after they fade by pinching them off. This will promote the formation of new flowers. Don’t prune the foliage and wait for them to die back naturally.
Although tulips don’t have leggy growth much, if the plant looks straggly, don’t be afraid to cut them and use harp sheer for trimming them.
Pest and infestation
If you find your tulips have stunted growth or have brown or yellow patches all over them, they are likely infected with any disease.
Hanging baskets will protect them from intruders such as rodents or mice, but they can be affected by pests and diseases, so you need to keep a vigilant eye on them.
To prevent the spread of disease, dig the bulbs and throw them away. Standard tulip bulbs include diseases like basal rot, tulip fire, or root rot problems.
To treat such diseases, apply a fungicide or give hot water treatment to the plants.
Annual replanting of tulip bulbs
Tulips in hanging baskets need to be replanted every year. Also, you should replace the soil every year. For this, you need to dig up the tulip bulbs with a spade and empty the hanging basket.
Replace the old potting soil with new potting soil and plant new tulip bulbs. A new potting mix will provide the new bulbs with nutrients and promotes their growth.
Remember these if you are growing tulips in hanging baskets.
- Tulips in a hanging basket will require more intense care than one growing in the garden.
- Tulips in hanging baskets are grown as annuals, and they need to be replaced every year.
- Hanging tulips are planted at the same time they are planted on grounds in fall.
- Choose a large size hanging basket for planting tulips. Use a 30 cm container that can grow up to 25 tulip bulbs.
- Space the tulip bulb one inch apart while planting them.
- Hang the basket in a location that will provide them with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily. Move the basket indoor in case of high temperatures.
- The ideal temperature for tulip is below 55°F for growth.
- Use a commercial potting or well-draining compost and avoid using garden soil.
- Hanging tulip will require frequent watering, i.e., 2 or 3 days in a week.
- Fertilize your tulips with a slow-release fertilizer once a year when you plant them.
- Deadhead the flowers whenever they fade but avoid pruning the foliage and wait for them to die back naturally.
- Tulips in hanging baskets are easy to grow if you provide them with reasonable care and ideal growing conditions.