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How to Grow Tulip Bulbs in Water

A 5-Step Guide on How to Grow Tulip Bulbs in Water

Yes, you can grow tulip bulbs in water by following some very simple steps. Here's a guide that tells you how.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2018
Contrary to popular belief, you don't always need soil to grow flowers and plants, and this can be done even by making them grow in water. Yes, there is a difference in technique, but the flowers do turn out as beautiful. One such beautiful flower that can be grown in water is the tulip. Without the mess of soil, you can have gorgeous tulips growing in your home, placed on your window sill, and adding a brilliant dash of color to your room. Whatever the reason for you not wanting to work with soil, the process of growing tulip bulbs in water is very simple and can easily be done even by those who don't have a so-called green thumb. The process is also called forcing tulip bulbs in water, i.e. making them grow in water.
All you need for this simple project is a clear forcing vase (one that has a narrow neck and a broad base), some marbles or pebbles, top quality tulip bulbs, and water. Once you have gathered these items, here's how you can go about the process.
Step I: Place the Marbles in the Vase
Clean the vase and start putting some pebbles or marbles through the vase. Keep these adding until they fill about one-third of the jar. These are added so that you can use lesser water in the vase after the bulb has been forced into it. These rocks also form a solid base for the bulb to anchor its roots in.
Step II: Plant the Bulb
Take a firm tulip bulb (avoid those that are soft or blemished) and force it through the vase, enough so that it is stuck at the mouth and does not go inside. The pointed part of the bulb should be facing upward.
Step III: Add Water
Put fresh water into the vase through the tulip bulb (this might take some time), up to a height so that it is about half an inch below the bulb. The water should not touch the bulb under any circumstance or the bulb may rot and not bloom.
Step IV: Put the Bulb Away
Place this vase in a cool and dark area so that the roots of the bulb start growing into the water. This process is known to take about sixteen weeks at a temperature of 35°F to 45°F (you may also refrigerate it). Now, while it is kept for its roots to grow, ensure that you change the water regularly, otherwise the water will start to sink and may even develop algae. Drain out the water without removing the bulb. Pour back enough water to maintain it at the aforementioned level.
Step V: Bring out the Bulb
After the specified time period has passed, bring out the vase and place it in sunlight. This could be in your garden or on your window sill. It takes about a month for the bulb to bloom after being placed in direct sunlight. Again, you must keep changing the water to maintain its freshness.
Gardening experts suggest that you need the appropriate climate to be able to force the growth of tulip bulbs in water. Though they can be refrigerated, you also need immediate sunlight after a period of sixteen weeks. People in some locations have prolonged winters, which is when this process becomes futile. Even when growing them in water, it is a good idea to plant the bulbs about four to five months before the onset of summer, so that by the time they are ready to bloom, the sun shines in its full glory and gives the bulb exactly what it needs to become its beautiful self.
By attempting this method, you can easily grow tulip bulbs without putting in too much effort; no fertilizers, no pesticides, and no drainage issues. Just remember to change the water regularly so that you have a fresh and healthy tulip blooming on your window sill. Bring home the brightness and beauty of tulips by following this simple guide.
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