The vacant house across the street has the prettiest tulips growing. I have several questions. Do tulips set seeds? How will I know when the seeds are ripe? Should I plant the seeds right away or wait till the fall like planting bulbs? Do they need any special treatment? Will the offspring be the same color? There is only the one clump and they are all the same color. So many questions!
Most tulips that people have in their yards are hybrids.This could mean that the tulips that you like could be sterile(no seeds) or if they did produce seeds,they would be different from the parent flowers. One way of telling is to notice if the clump of flowers has increased over the years.If it has,then you should be able to collect seeds.The seed pod will form right where the flower was.The petals will drop off and a small bulge will form right at the end of the stem.Wait until it is brownish and dried looking.The seeds will be inside.they will probably be small and black.You may want to loosely cover the bulge with a piece of pantyhose so if the seed pod splits before you realize it,your seeds won't be lost.
Thanks for the information. The clump has spread some. They are coming up between several LARGE rocks and are space limited. There is one group that has about 4 or 5 plants. Maybe 6 inches away, two more had come up around a large stray brick. I finally got the courage to dig up those two. I nicked the bulbs in the process, just the surface. I hope they make it. The guy lives in Greece and only comes home every couple of years. I doubt he even remembers they are there. They are a beautiful rosy/purple shade. I'll keep my eye out for the seed pods as you described. Should I plant the seeds in the fall, just like you would the bulbs?
I'd plant as soon as the seeds are ripe.Just barely cover with soil and keep moist(not wet) They'll probably look like little green onions to start with.
Some of you bulb people need to help out on this one.I've not had much experience with this stuff and I've gone about as far as I can go with this. I'd be curious too.How long to bloom? It probably depends on the species,but I'll leave that to more experience.
Why not dig up the bulbs in a month after they are done blooming and moving the bulbs to your yard?
I have tried to raise some bulbs (not tulips) from seed and it takes at least 3 years and usually 5 to get a flowering plant if you get a flower at all. Since tulips propogate by bulbs that would be the way to go to preserve the species, I would think.