Tulips

CLBlakeyJune 20, 2012

This may sound dumb but how long should tulips last in zone 2b I planted 100 4 years ago. The first year an awesome showing then the second was good as well but last year only got about 4 flowers and some puny leaves this year 2 flowers(one is the size of my thumb perfect but really small). Is this normal?

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beegood_gw

I'm not sure but I think these new fancy Hybrids do not last very long. I have had some of the old types ( Appledoorn) that are still coming back as good as ever after 25-30 years.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:53AM
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dowlinggram

Do you have squirrels around your place. Squirrels love to dig up and eat tulip bulbs. I too have some very old bulbs that come back year after year but I have no squirrels. My sister couldn't keep tulips because of the squirrels until she made upside down bowlshaped chicken wire cages to put over her bulbs when she planted. The squirrels dig down and can't get the bulb with the wire over it yet the flower stems grow through the holes in the wire.

If that's your problem you might also like to look at daffodils. They come in many colors and shapes these days and are poisonouus to squirrels if they eat them so they leave them alone

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:32PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I have had problems with a few varieties but most do well here.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 7:47PM
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CLBlakey

no squirrels here - I have had trouble with Daffs as well, come to think of it I have only seen them once in my town. Most of the tulips I have seen in town here are planted by the foundation of houses they seem to do well but my flower bed is along the sidewalk no warmth from the house. I am not sure what kind they were not fancy like parrots or anything. Pink and white ones lasted the shortest time and it looks like this will be the last year for my red ones.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:37PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

According to Doug Green from Doug Green's Garden website, tulips should not be watered. Maybe that's why ones against the foundation tend to do better. Less water.

I'll have to mull over which tulips of mine survived or didn't, and figure out if water/less water could be the reason for it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:41PM
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CLBlakey

I bet that is it I water because of annuals there ............I'm a murderer :(

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:46PM
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don555(3a)

I second Beegood -- the fancy varieties seem to be short-lived but some of the older Darwin varieties like Appledorn put on a good show for many years if planted in a decent spot and cared for.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:37AM
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RpR_(3-4)

I have tulips in zone 3 that are eight years old and seem fine yet I have tulips in both zones 3 & 4, more pricey ones, that after four years only a quarter, at most, were still coming up.

How deep did you plant them?
What type soil do you have?

It is really best, for large blooms to dig them up at least, minium, every four years. Three is better, two is best.

Unless, as some of the above said, you have some of the old guard types that just keep on coming.

I have planted them in sand soil and black gumbo. Oddly they last longer in the gumbo.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:28AM
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CLBlakey

RpR I am pretty sure NAF is correct about the watering I may have just rotted them out. I have had gardens in zone 3(great garden), 5(fruit trees and tomato weeds-sigh) and now 2b by far this has been the most difficult to adjust to. Not sure if it is because of the gumbo soil, short seasons or over abundance of quack grass that hinder me the most. I have heard of digging glads and dahlias but not tulips I may have to try that with my next batch and not water next time.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 4:21PM
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RpR_(3-4)

If you dig them up, you may already know this, you let the stems die back naturally, dig them up and then replant in the late fall, how ever early that is up there.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Apeldoorn or any of the other Darwin Hybrid Tulips are the ones that have last for years for me too. Giving them a shot of bonemeal in the fall helps too. The others, last one or two years for me. I see Botanus have their fall stuff out already, oh oh.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 11:13AM
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