Anyone in SC plant tulips?

mikescApril 6, 2010

I am seeing many tulips this year in Myrtle Beach; however, I know that they won't overwinter here (or anywhere else in SC that I'm aware of).

Can one plant the tulips and harvest and refrigerate the bulbs in fall?

Any advice welcomed.


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When I did tulips they didn't come up properly... the flower part was basically sitting on the ground with little or no stem. I did some research and found that in warmer climates, you have to refrigerate the bulbs each year and then plant in mid November (around Thanksgiving). So I would think that you shound have good result if you are willing to harvest, refrigerate and then re-plant.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 7:08AM
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JM I am a sucker for tulips and came across this link about 6 years ago
I'm in Piedmont NC and have had 5 years of returning Apeldoorn, a couple years (so far) of Candela - am trying Parade, Queen of Sheba this year. I planted Apeldoorn about 8" deep and noticed last year when digging to plant more bulbs that they had multiplied and migrated closer to the surface.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:58PM
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Sorry Mike - I just realized that the NCSU listing specifically said for North Carolina. I also read a book in my public library called "Bulbs for the South" that showed Queen of Sheba, some others were good for the deep south, and here is a link I saw recently that shows some info that may work for you

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:06PM
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Of course the relevance would depend on where your location in SC is but I am about fifteen minutes north of the SC line in NC in zone 7b. I wasn't going to plant tulips but I had two come up every year in two different spots, in raised beds no less, for the third season. I broke down and threw a handful of mixed bulbs in the ground last year in early spring. I was told to expect that some will continue to come back, depending on the variety but the quantity of blooms will decline where I would have to throw extra bulbs in the ground each year to keep up a good show. Which honestly, unless I planted some highly specialized variety, I would rather do that than dig bulbs. I guess I am just lazy. So far, I had a few come up this year that I didn't see last year and a few that I had last year didn't come up this year. Who knows though.. I'm a fan of throwing things in the ground and seeing what they do, in other words, learning the hard way lol.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:25PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Look into some of the species tulips. Not as big as the hybrids, but they can handle the heat better, naturalize well and the blooms last longer than the hybrids.

Here is a link that might be useful: species tulips

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:04AM
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safariofthemind(z7b NC)

Tulips for me are hit or miss but the Darwin hybrids and the early blooming species tulips have come back several years if the deer don't get to them before I can protect them. Seems tulips prefer a high mound in full sun that's allowed to dry out in summer (they are native to Asia minor and inner Asia in areas where they get plentiful rain in spring and a baking in summer).

Brent of Brent and Becky's often says that zone 7b is really the limit for perennializing tulips. They are of the opinion that zone 8 and higher are best off buying pre-cooled bulbs and treating them as annuals. An effective way to do this is in pots where one can appreciate a nice bunch of 10 or 12 of them. You can bury the pots in garden beds then dig out and repeat the next fall which allows you to use good soil mix each time.

Regardless of cooling, in our area the early blooming types do better than the late ones IMO because a couple of our typical 90F days in April will kill the blooms.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:42PM
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That is what I have, mostly early spring bloomers and I know I have some Darwins in there but not positive of the ratio. I think some of the hybrids reverted under the stress I put them through last year. All the tulips in that spot last year were red and yellow.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:57PM
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I love tulips-- NC 7 here in the Sandhills. My problem is mostly keeping the squirrels and voles, moles out. I would like to plant a few this fall. Two years ago I bought some beautiful Darwin Hybrids from B&B, most were eaten, just a few blooms this year.

Any suggestions?-- I heard about some type of chicken wire around the bulbs when you plant, but don't know the details.
Thanks for any help

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:55AM
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As rootdigger said, some of the species might just be the thing for us in the hotter areas. The clusiana tulips have returned at the JCR Arboretum for many years now, and require no additional chilling hours. Perhaps they would do the same for you. A Dave's Garden poster says they are perennial in his/ her zone 10a garden in California!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:53AM
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There was an article in the Raleigh N&O last weekend-- said the species tulips come back and bloom better in NC than any other variety.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:48PM
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