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Latent Tulips?

Posted by memo Zone 4B Nebraska (My Page) on
Sun, May 22, 11 at 17:53

Last year after I moved into my house I dug out years and years worth of overgrown rose bushes and weeds beyond belief. I planted, I mulched and I watered all summer. This spring I had several tulips come up in my beds, all near the sidewalk that leads to my front door and a few out in the grass just kind of growing out there for no rhyme or reason. They bloomed yesterday and they are the palest of yellows, thin, wispy and dainty. I did not plant them. I was always under the impression that tulips would bloom well once then off and on for a couple of years and finally just disappear. Is it possible for tulips to lay latent for more than eight years and then suddenly pop up and become beautiful blooming pretties?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Latent Tulips?

Maybe you had some seeds from long ago that finally became large enough to bloom. Sounds like a bonus to me.

RE: Latent Tulips?

I've had tulips for 8 years that I have never dug up. There are some that you don't have to dig up. I've also had bulbs that didn't come up some years but came up other years. Bulbs have always been a mystery to me.

Congrats on your new house!

RE: Latent Tulips?

After a blooming size tulip bulb flowers, that bulb dies and the foliage remains to promote the growth of new bulbs that season. Those new bulbs may not be large enough to bloom the next year but will produce foliage to help promote more growth. I've also read that some bulbs can be large enough to produce a flower, but if they are prevented from blooming, they may still produce a flower the next year. So, maybe someone long ago planted tulips there and the bulblets are just now getting large enough or in the right conditions to flower.

A lot of tulip bulbs rot over the summer in ordinary garden conditions. Some species tulips and darwin hybrids seem to be more likely to persist. Species tulips apparently do reseed quite prolifically too, but it would take a several years for them to be of blooming size.

Are your tulips very low to the ground and do they open up more in the sun?

RE: Latent Tulips?

I've been digging tulips out of the bed against the house for two years. They are still coming up. Some are more than shovel deep and have been there for a while.

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