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question-lily flowering tulips

Posted by Fundybayfarm z5westernN.S. (My Page) on
Mon, May 23, 05 at 13:45

Hi,
This is the first year that I've grown tulips for cutting, and the lily flowering ones that I have blooming right now are presenting a problem. They are fine when I first bring them in, and grow longer stems the same as the rest, but then they flop over, no matter what vase I put them in. They have a much thinner stem than the regular kind, but I can't imagine that this is normal behavior! Is it the type, or have I done something wrong? Any suggestions are most welcome.
Cheryl


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

I have grown the white ones and yes, they do this because they have thin stems. Any tulip that has that tall & lean build will flop. Purchase some straight wire from the floral dept of a craft store and sort of wind it loosely along the stem. You'll need other flowers or greens to hide this handiwork but you'll get the look you want. Good luck


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

or go with the flow...arrange the flowers so they curve downward gracefully and explain to folks that it is the way these are meant to be!


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Thanks for the suggestions. I guess you don't sell these as a bunch by themselves like you can other tulips. Our weather has been nothing but rain and quite cool, so I don't have much of anything else in bloom. I'm thinking I like the other varieties better!
Cheryl


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Hi,
I am growing the ballerina lily tulips and the stems are strong and are just like the normal tulip stems--not weak and thin. I'm on the westcoast, perhaps it is the growing conditions. I love them.
Maplea


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

I've grown several kinds of lily-flowered tulips. The customers LOVE them. I put them in mixed bouquets, usually last, so they other flowers and greenery keep them in place fairly well. They stay nice and straight on the plant, but once cut, they sure do flop. I treat them the same way as all the other tulips just after cutting: gather a handful, straighten them out, roll them up in newspaper (or you could use flower sleeves, and sell them in that same sleeve, if you are selling them as grower's bunches), tape it in place, then stand them up in a bucket of preservative water, to condition. They'll stay stiff once they're conditioned, unless you cut them again - which is what I usually do when arranging, so that's why I put them in last, somewhat supported. Like LizaLily, I use some of them bent over, on purpose, for the graceful effect. I don't want to take the time to wire them up.

Jeanne


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Thanks Jeanne, I'll try that. My problem right now is, I don't have anything else to go in bouquets. What do you use with them? The only flower I have besides tulips is dafs, which are past their prime, and some doronicum, which IS useable, but I don't have all that much. Even my fern from my woods isn't big enough to use. It's been an incredibly cool, wet spring.
Cheryl


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

You're already growing it. Doronicum. Just grow more. It's too late for this year, but there's next year. Do you have any curly willow? It can add interest to bouquets. I try to use three different kinds of tulips per bouquet, with different colors and sizes along with different shapes. Varied types of greenery make it more interesting too; I use snowberry, aspen, and redtwig dogwood cuttings because they're here and are free. I've also used the trimmed-off branches from a maple tree. Along with the redtwig dogwood (the stems aren't actually red this time of year), I didn't get around to pruning the maple while dormant, but then had the added benefit of usable stems of greenery. Cutting it back while in its major growth spurt isn't the best thing for the tree or shrub, but they'll survive.

I am rather stumped as to what other flowers to grow to go with tulips, other than doronicum. The very last of the late narcissus were done too soon, before Mother's Day. I'm thinking about growing some bleeding hearts for that. I don't know how long they last as cuts, though.

I have a big hole in production now - I'm not even going to market. I planted bearded iris, painted daisies and lupines last year to fill this slot, but none are ready yet. Perhaps they'll be earlier next year. I'm open to suggestion as to what will work, although cool-summer, short-season zone 5ers might be the only folks who can help me with that.

Jeanne


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

PEONIES. They start right about now. They also help fill that void. The Asiatics are starting--those that have been grown in the hoophouse. The foxglove are just about ready, along with Campanula. Oh, and Sweet William. Viburnum, 'Snowball', Tulip Tree are some others.

I am really suffering from market fatigue. Just finished one today. We have another on Saturday. And, next week two more markets start for us. It's starting to rain; and, I really, really want a nap................


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Flowerfarmer,
You're about a month ahead of me. Last year it wasn't until about the 23rd of June that I had peonies open. I have some of the other things you mentioned, but again, it will come later in June. Glad your markets are going well, it sounds like you'll be busy all summer.
Jeanne, I'm not all that crazy about the dornonicum, as not all the stems are really tall. I like it in my own garden, but for a cut it isn't my favorite. Bleeding heart would be very useful and I could use more of that. The white is really nice, and it does last. Unfortunately I don't have enough of the right color combinations in my tulips. I bought too many of the monsella variety, and although they last a really long time, they aren't selling well, and are very fragrant. I like that, but not everyone does. So I should plant some more varieties this fall. What are your favorites?
Cheryl


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Jeanne, what about lilac? Does it bloom in time for the tulips? I use white lilac/tulips about the last 3rd of my tulip season. I Also have a deep purple one but the blooms are not prolific enough (Frank Klager) to share many. THe slugs make havoc of my doronicums. THey must be their favorite flower ever! EVEN SLUG BAIT DOESN'T SEEM TO ABATE THE DAMAGE.

I am between duck flocks right now. My older 2 remaining ducks are confined to the dahlias garden and my 5 little ones aren't quite ready to free range yet. THey are sending their first night outside in the outside duck house tonight. I started with an order of 15, half arrived dead, then 2 more died, then another one several weeks later. Yesterday our cat got another who had escaped out of its fence....guess that duck won't learn to behave! Today I just ordered 15 more that will arrive in late June. & ducks is not enough to start a year with knowing the potentail attrition from raccoon attacks. An ideal flock for me is about 6-8. Going to be a whole lot of quacking going on!

Sorry, got off topic here. Tired out from the heat tonight.


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

I've forgotten what heat is. It hasn't been above 65 yet this year, and lately, with all this rain, we've been upper 40's to about 52. Very slow, and late for a lot of vegetable farmers.
My lilac bushes won't be in bloom for probably another week or two. I just looked up last year's bloom schedule, but I forgot to write down lilac. I have the above mentioned Jeanne, painted daisy, lupin, ect. And another good cut is English wallflower. That bloomed last year on June 13th, Iris and Lupin the 14th, columbine and Painted daisy the 15th, siberian iris the 20th, Delphiniums, peonies, and valerian on the 27th. SO, I've got to figure out some other flowers for May. Any suggestions out there after looking at what blooms here in June?
Cheryl


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

This is why some growers in our climates have gone to hoophouses for season extension for both ends of the season. It is hard to have very many other flowers in bloom in the field in May especially since we had snow just a couple of weeks ago.

In an unheated hoophouse one can have: anemone, delphinium, dianthus, Dutch iris, larkspur, snapdragons, stock, sweet peas, lisianthus, campanula, and Karma dahlias for those important early sales.


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Flowerfarmer, you're at least a month ahead of me! Some of the peonies look like they might bloom in about three weeks, but most of them will be later. A few of the foxgloves are just starting to form the first bits of what will be flower stalks. Everything else is several weeks out. Cold nights, short season, etc. If I had grown Asiatic lilies in the greenhouse, they might be close to ready now, but I didn't. Orientals and a Longiflorum-Oriental hybrid are my only greenhouse lilies. My greenhouse is small, so space is very precious and used mostly on the big-money flowers. The outdoors Asiatics and Asiatic-Longiflorum crosses are at least two weeks out, maybe three.

Cheryl, my favorites so far are these Single Late (also called French or Scheepers) varieties: Maureen, Big Smile, and Queen of the Night, and Lily-flowereds White Triumphator and Mariette. Maureen is BIG. It starts ivory and turns white. Big Smile, yellow, is HUGE, even bigger than Maureen, and the biggest tulip I've ever seen (many customers say that also). I've also grown Single Lates Menton (good-sized, a lovely color, pink with tinges of apricot) and Kingsblood (red, average-sized), and they are very nice, especially the color of Menton when combined with Queen of the Night, but they don't have the Wow factor of Big Smile and Maureen. I'll grow them again, though.

In the Lily-Flowered, White Triumphator starts sort of a greenish off-white and turns white. Mariette is a deep pink. I'll grow both of those again. There was a yellow Lily-Flowered I grew once and will grow again, but I've lost its name. I've grown Lily-Flowered Elegant Lady (or something like that) whose colors are muddy, just not terribly useful and not as good as they look in catalogs. I won't grow it again.

ALL of the Single Lates I've grown had just-barely-cut-able stems the first year and VERY long stems the second year. Ditto the Lily-Flowereds, although they weren't as long as the Single Lates either year. Queen of the Night, a Single Late, is a rather small flower but has a long stem and is absolutely wonderful combined with practically anything else. With Menton it's a knockout.

I don't recommend Bleu Aimable. I think AMG classified it as a Single Late. It's just too short and stays that way.

On going outside and looking at the last few tulip blooms, I think Kingsblood might be a Lily-flowered. It's good no matter who it is, and has nice long stems. And I didn't mention Sorbet, a white with pink stripes or streaks. I honestly don't know whether it's a Single Late or a Lily-flowered. The flowers are quite small but they're on long stems and the colors are fantastic. I'll grow it again.

As usual, I talk too much!

Jeanne


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Oops! Forgot something!

Even with all that babbling, I forgot to mention Allium Purple Sensation. It overlaps with the last of the tulips by one or two weeks. My tulips are done, and right now Purple Sensation allium is the ONLY flower I've got. Oh, and two stems of monkshood that bloomed way ahead of the rest of the stems on the plants, for no known reason. The Doronicum are done. I guess I'll put some allium and monkshood on my dining-room table.

LizaLily, yes, the lilacs were in time for the tulips, but I don't have enough blooms to cut yet. In fact, I only have three bushes and they're in my house garden. I guess I'll have to get some more and plant them in the cutting area. Just plain old Syringa vulgaris is so happy here, it naturalizes. You can see big thickets of it where old houses were a long time ago, getting no attention whatsoever and thriving. I want a darker purple also, and maybe some white. The sooner, the better, but I just have no time to research and shop for them right now. I'll get some next spring, I guess. Then it will be at least six years before they bloom much. I need some fruit trees just for the flowering branches also. Next year!

Jeanne


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

(Another zone 5er popping in here-- I expect peonies in 3-4 weeks, also -- I'm SO excited, I see at least about 50 buds forming!!!)

Can someone tell me more about doronicum-- species name, etc?? (I googled doronicum and got SO much information I didn't know what to do with it... I suppose I shoudl go check Germania catalogue)

Here, lilac starts right about the same time the tulips finish, and about the same time as iris and allium purple sensation. I do have some wildish purple lupines (VERY tall stems) which sold well this weekend and hopefully next. But I, also, have a BIG void right now and also have nothing to sell with the tulips at all, as I don't even have this doronicum (Obviously I need some!). What I'm doing instead is just selling bedding plants in May-- to heck with trying to have flowers at this time of year! Nevermind! :)

And back to the original question, I grew Queen of Sheba (a lily-flowering tulip ) and the stems were plenty strong and customers LOVED it. Gobbled it up. I'm going to put in a lot of lily-flowering and parrot tulips this fall.

Kristen


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RE: question-lily flowering tulips

Thanks for the suggestions, and also to flowerfarmer for listing what I could grow in an unheated greenhouse. Kristen, I'll look in my catalog for that tulip, I'm all for a stronger stem on the lily type. Another name for Doronicum is leopards bane. It's a wonderful flower in a mixed perennial garden, but I'm having a hard time working it in with tulips. The stems aren't as long as I'd like, and I find I have to cut the whole stem where 2 or 3 of the flowers are in bud stage. So I would have to cut quite a bit of the stem off my tulips to make it look right. One thing that works very well with tulips, and I need more, is Solomons seal. It looks elegant with tulips, it adds a bit of greenery, plus the bonus of those white flowers that hang from under the leaf.
Cheryl


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