**please help** tulip trouble

cocolily(7)February 2, 2010

I was recently given 3 pots of tulips from a local grocery store. They get rids of plants when they start to lose their flowers. I can't pass up a freebie!!

HOWEVER, the flowers are completely gone. And now the foliage is withering away. My question is-- WHAT SHOULD I DO? I'm not sure how to handle tulips that have already bloomed this early in the year. Do I replant them inside and put them outside after their regular blooming season? Do I let them go dormant (and how to do that indoors?) Do I put the pots outside now? When do they need to go in the ground?

I really dont want to lose these beauties. Any advice?

THANKS everyone! You guys and gals are always so helpful!

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connietn

Well, I hate to tell you, but if they've already bloomed they're probably done.

Most tulips don't rebloom very well. I've tried several times, and only got about 10%-20% returns. Now, I've heard some people further north swear that they multiply and come back every year, but I sure haven't seen it. I usually just plant some in the fall, then in spring when they're finished I yank them out and replace with an annual. They're sort of like hyacinths in this way. You may get a little show the second year, but it's not really worth it - better to just plant new ones.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 9:20AM
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cocolily(7)

Thanks Connie! I appreciate the info.
I've actually had luck in the past with some fancy red tulips. They've come back 3 seasons so far. But these are a different variety so who knows?
It's sad to admit, but I guess these are goners!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 1:04PM
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connietn

Well, you're welcome. :) That's just been my experience. Jeff (bigorangevol) swears that he's had them come back too. I have heard that Apeldorn tulips are better at returning than others. Maybe yours were Apeldorn? I have also read that if you plant them 12 inches deep they will return. But it seems like most books I've been reading lately advise treating them as annuals and replacing every year. Tulips are my favorite flower, so I have just been doing the thing that I know will guarantee my having tulips every spring!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 3:19PM
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dvtown(6b)

I've had 'Negrita' and 'Shirley' come back every year for 3 years. No problems so far. I would go ahead and let them go dormant then plant them and see what comes. Keep them healthy until all the foliage dies back naturally. Let them get as much sun as possible. I think many people cut the foliage back too early to get repeat blooms.

From Two Years ago:

A shot of my tulips from last year:

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 5:31PM
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april_h_o(Z6 Nashville)

Yes, many varieties suffer here because our winters are generally too warm, but looking out the window at the snow coming down, I think this year may be a great one for Tulips! :-)

That said, there are definitely varieties that do much better here - Negrita and Shirley, as posted by dvtown, are definitely good ones. I've also had very good luck with Apricot Beauty, and Angelique (that one has been coming back for years). The "Impression" series has done pretty well for me too, as well as the "Rembrandt" varieties.

But, as Connie points out, try not to get too attached to them - if you tend to think of them as annuals, or at best, short-lived perennials, each year they come back will be an added joy.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 9:27AM
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positivemom(7)

dvtown, your tulips are beautiful! Makes me ready for spring!

Amy

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:33PM
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dvtown(6b)

Thanks Amy! I can't wait to see what this spring will bring. Tulips are beginning to come up - at least the foliage is now. It looks like they will be fairly thick this year!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:18PM
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