End of the tulips

donutfishMay 27, 2010

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum here. I have been a vegetable gardener for a decade now and have really become passionate about my flower gardens now. Last fall I planted some 1600 bulbs in various gardens thinking that mass plantings would be the way to go. They of course looked pretty, but now the season has gone and many of the tulip leaves are turning yellow as are the seed pods. I started clipping some of the stems so they look I didn't so unsightly, but I didn't really plan for what should happen next.

What do people do when they plant that many...do they cut them all back and plant over the bulbs? Many of the areas are larger areas that don't have plants directly in the drifted areas. They all have taller backdrops like mature peonies, irises, hydrangeas and roses. I have one area with delphiniums coming up in the middle of the drift, but that's it. Do most people move there bulbs over when they plant within the drift in the Spring? I could probably attempt to plant in between some of the tulips, but many of them are only 6 inches apart and I'm concerned I'd beat up the bulbs too much. I'm looking for some advise. I'm not sure if I need to relocate the bulbs.

Also, has anyone had success planting the tulip seed from the seed pods or are they strictly propagated from splitting bulbs?

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The bulbs should be deep enough that you can plant between the tulips. The tulips will be gone by mid-June anyway.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 3:08PM
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I've always understood that one should cut off the stem with the seedpod as soon as the petals fall. Of course, let the leaves remain and die back naturally.

You don't want the bulb to put energy into setting seed at the expense of feeding the bulb for next year's bloom. With the heat we've been experiencing, the tulip leaves are fading quickly this year. Sure, it looks a little ugly for awhile, but to me it's worth it. I've always interplanted bulbs amongst the perennials. They provide cover for the dying tulip and daffodil leaves.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:20PM
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If you want the tulips to return, leave the foliage at least until it is completely brown and dried out. Otherwise it can't store enough energy in the bulb to produce flowers in a subsequent year.

And the other poster has a good suggestion, interplant with something that takes about the same cultural conditions and leafs out and blooms later in the season.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 6:49PM
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