Tulips are definitely one of the most charming and pleasing flowers. These blooms are also great to grow and cultivate. With the advent of technology, these iconic blooms are no longer restricted to traditional soil cultivation. They can now be grown through hydroponic cultivation, which is the act of growing plants without soil and using nutrient solutions in water.
Step by step guide to Hydroponic cultivation
First, we need to obtain tulip bulbs to be used in the growing process. These tulip bulbs are best sourced from credible gardeners and nurseries, which are less likely to have traces of mold or harmful bacteria.
The next thing we should do is set up the hydroponic system. Prepare water trays and place the tulip bulbs upright in them. Store these trays in low temperatures of about eight degrees centigrade. This will help end the dormancy stages of the bulbs and prepare them for the next stage of growth. After several days, add water to the trays and shift them to a colder place of three to five degrees. This will take about three days. Once roots of about four centimeters emerge from the bulb, add calcium nitrate to the water tray to help the plants to grow healthily. Monitor the bulbs and wait for roots to grow.
When the roots are fully grown, the bulbs are now ready to be transported into the greenhouses where the temperature is warmer at 16 to 21 degrees. The temperature will have to be altered depending on the growth stage of the plants. Prepare pipes that will be used to water the plants. Remember to not neglect the cleanliness of the hydroponic systems and sterilize all pieces of equipment that come in contact with the hydroponics using bleach or high temperatures. This helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms that may impede the growth of the tulip plants.
Advantages of Hydroponic-grown Tulips
This process has a shorter growing period and the growers typically spend less effort and energy to maintain and harvest the flowers. Additionally, one has the choice of chilling the tulips at a lower temperature. In hydroponics, there is absolutely no soil involved, which makes the whole process more sanitary and less messy. This, in turn, helps to make the bulbs easier to clean and reduces the risk of contaminating the flowers with extraneous harmful agents.
Disadvantages of Hydroponic-grown Tulips
As they say, the devil is in the details. Hydroponic enthusiasts or beginners need to pay attention to these complexities for a smooth sailing tulip growing process.
For starters, much care and attention must be paid in selecting the right tulip bulbs for hydroponic growing. As mentioned, go for highly trusted and certified gardeners and nurseries that are able to provide high quality, disease-free tulip bulbs.
Another process to take note of is storing and placing the hydroponic tulip bulbs in the trays. It is best to run as little risk of contamination as possible which can be tough for home gardeners or beginners who do not have the necessary skills and equipment to ensure this. Generally, proper care and regular sterilization of the equipment should be fine, but those cultivating tulip plants on a larger scale may consider proper machine cleaning instead due to the high risk of contamination involved in the process.
A simple guide to Hydroponic Tulip growing at home
For home gardeners, we have also put together a guide more targeted specifically for growing tulips at home using common home supplies.
Firstly, you can easily chill the tulip bulbs by placing the bulbs in a paper bag and then storing them in your home refrigerator for around 13 weeks. The next thing you’d want to do is to pick a vase of your liking and fill it with beads or pebbles of up to two inches. Next, fill the vase with one inch worth of water. Then, place the bulb inside the vase. Allow the vase to sit and rest in a cool and dark area for around five to six weeks. Flush out and replace the water weekly to prevent contamination.
You can probably spot the sprouted bulb after about 15 weeks. At this stage, it is important that the plant is able to receive sunlight. Make arrangements to do so if it is unable to, and you should be able to witness the leafy transformation of the plant. Continue to monitor and change the water regularly and keep the water level constant. Your very own hydroponic tulips will begin blooming very soon.
Caring for Hydroponic Tulips
Like all flowers, these hydroponic tulips will wither after some time. Here are some nifty tips that will help your tulips beat the mercilessness of time and remain fresh and beautiful for a longer period.
The vase holding your hydroponic tulips should be kept in a clean and fresh room with sufficient sunlight, but avoid placing it where it will be exposed directly to sunlight as this will exacerbate its withering process. Rotating the vase weekly helps the plant to receive enough sunlight, which is recommended. The best temperature for hydroponic tulips to thrive is around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The roots of the plant should be submerged in water, but not the bulbs. It is imperative to ensure that two-thirds of the bulbs are not submerged in water. As one changes the water in the vase, pay extra care to the roots, and prevent them from being damaged in the process.
Tulips can also bloom again after their flowers wither once. Simply cut the flower heads off, and carry on caring for the plant as you would in the intermediate stages. Remember to collect the new bulbs and chill them for a new batch of tulips in the next season.
We highly recommend Bloomaker Hydroponic Tulip Vase for those interested. These vases help you save some time in the preparation stages so that you can jump right into the cultivation and growing parts. Great for gifts or for those strapped for time.
We hope that this article has ignited your interest in hydroponic tulip cultivation. Tulips are wonderful flowers to grow and do not require too much effort and maintenance. Try your hand at growing your own hydroponic tulips at home and you may be surprised by how easy the process is that you may ditch the notion of soil cultivation after this. You will never know until you try right? Happy growing!