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tulips

Q:  How would I go about growing tulips here?

A:  Unfortunately, many of the common bulbs of northern states such as tulips, hyacinths, and some irises and lilies do not grow well in Florida. Very often these bulbs flower poorly or not at all, even in northern Florida. However, with special treatment many of these northern bulbs will grow and bloom the first year. Recovering bulbs for planting the following year is not recommended because the bulbs rarely flower again. Bulbs require chilling for about 60 days at 40°F and 120 days at 50°F. Bulbs chilled in a refrigerator with ripening fruit may fail to bloom. The gas (ethylene) produced by ripening fruit can cause the flower buds to abort. Plant bulbs immediately upon removal from cold storage. Discard bulbs after blooming and plant new ones each year.  There are plenty of other perennial flowering choices that would bring you much more pleasure year after year.  Consider lilies such as cannas, crinum or calla.  Try your hand at Dahlia, Watsonia, or Sternbergia.  The University of Florida/IFAS publication below will give you more specific information on selection and general care of bulbs for Northeast Florida.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG029