How beautiful are these tulips that my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day? However, you might notice that those aren’t cut flowers. They’re tulips with bulbs still intact and sitting in water! These tulips are hydroponic.
After my marveling over the air-grown, substrateless epiphyte orchids at Longwood Gardens, it’s probably not too surprising that I’m a fan of hydroponic plants, too. Years ago, my husband and I used styrofoam coolers to try and grow hydroponic lettuce. We weren’t terribly successful but it’s a method of growing that has continued to intrigue me.
These tulips, from a company called Bloomaker, seem pretty ordinary. You can purchase them from the grocery store. But the bulbs are specially prepared for hydroponic growth. That means the bulbs must be very high quality and disease-free for dirtless growing.
There are a couple of reasons I like these hydroponic tulips compared to the cut variety. For starters, these aren’t dead. Because they are still attached to the bulb, they continue to grow. That means the tulips are fresher for longer. When I received them, the flowers hadn’t quite emerged. It took several days.
The other part I really like is that the manufacturer states that the bulbs can be planted outdoors once their bloom in water is complete. That means in the fall these bulbs will join two other varieties in my aspiring tulip cutting garden.
These is also an element of surprise. As I said before, I selected a vase of hydroponic tulips where the flower petals weren’t showing yet. I had to wait on Mother Nature to reveal what color these tulips are. It’s a little extra surprise!
I have to admit, I’m a little curious to try growing some more tulips hydroponically on my own. Just as a little experiment.
But for now, I have these beautiful flowers to enjoy.
Have you ever tried hydroponic gardening? What do you think of dirtless growing?