Is there anything I should do to encourage my tulips to come back next year? I planted some bulbs in the fall and they were gorgeous this spring, but now what do I do?
I have heard that they won't flower again here. Perhaps you could dig them up and send to a friend and watch them vicariously?
It depends where you garden. I prefer species tulips which do well and don't seem to attract voles, chipmunks and squirrels. I garden in the mountains, zone 7A.
What is your growing zone?
Look on line for " species tulips for warmer climates" or " tulips for warmer climates": and you may find something
As far as the large hybrid tulips, they can be disappointing and return only in foliage or disappear completely and attract varmints.
When I plant bulbs I use talcum or baby powder in the planting hole. ( being careful not to inhale any) It seems to prevent inquiring minds from digging there.
Here is one link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Tulips for warmer climates.
Thanks for your responses. I'm zone 7. I guess I will just dig them up and replant more each fall. They weren't a lot of money, but boy did that pack a big punch so I'm definitely doing them again.
Every once in a while I stumble upon some garden where tulips actually come back and bloom year after year. It is very rare - we ain't living in the mountains of Turkey where tulips are native. When it does happen it never seems to be the super showy flashy colored ones either, just your basic deep red.
The tiny species tulips are pretty reliable but they do best in dry cactus garden types of settings.
It's most reliable to replant every fall, but NC State Hort edu site has published a list of tulips likely to come back in warmer zones. The best luck I've had in Greensboro is with Tulip West Point, Kees Nellis, Darwin Hybrid Apeldoorn red, yellow and bicolor red and yellow - all on the NC Hort list. Some bloomed 3 years in a row before I got just a few leaves, and that was the year I put them 8 inches down in my mostly clay bed.
I pulled out the tulips so I could plant some vinca for the summer. It was amazing how the bulbs had multiplied. Each bulb that I pulled out had a cluster of baby bulbs attached. I think I might try to put them in a pot. I don't have the heart to throw them away. I don't remember what kind they were but they were bright pink and very showy. My neighbor asked me if I grew them in outer space.
My other neighbor has some that are orange and he says his have come back every year since he put them in. The other neighbor said he gets foliage but they don't bloom.
I also plan to experiment with tulips when I get a house in NC. If the soil is clay, maybe amending as if I wanted to plant lavender will help tulips winter over.