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I love tulips but can't seem to get progressive year on year flowering (in tubs etc). Any tips?



Welcome to Goy. Tulips prefer to go in to the ground much later than other spring bulbs. I'm told this is because they start growing too early and the flowers get nipped by the frost. If you are leaving them from one year to the next this could be the problem. I take mine out of the pots if that is possible and put them somewhere out of the way to die back then lift them and replant again late October. Otherwise I just put up with the risk of losing them and replant with fresh the following year. I give mine a feed after flowering of bonemeal. Others use fish, blood and bone. It was so highly recommended that although I had never used it I tried it on a couple of shrubs in the spring and I do believe the contents gave the plant an early boost.I would not want fresh growth at this time of year so will stick with bonemeal in the autumn.

10 Sep, 2010


I dont have a problem usually. I have them buried half as deep again as recomended. when the flowers are finished i dead head them but give them a foliar feed for the next month. when the foliage dies off I then move the pot to a shady area and ignore until spring.

10 Sep, 2010


Welcome, Suzanne!
When perennializing tulips in a tub, it needs to be a huge tub--at least 70 cm by 70 cm--and planted deep, and far away from the edges. If the bulbs feel too much temperature fluctuation, they think they are about to be unburied, and break up into lots of small, non-blooming divisions, which are better able to survive landslides and erosion. Wild species can then bury themselves deeper, but modern hybrids have lost this ability.

10 Sep, 2010


Thanks for that Tug. I do love the way our knowledge is expanded by members. It is almost as good as doing an apprenticeship.

11 Sep, 2010


I've been doing a lot of research on tulips lately in hopes of finding some that will naturalize in our subtropical/Mediterranean climate.Very little luck on that, but I have found out a moderate amount about tulips in general.

11 Sep, 2010


Have you considered Tulipa Clusiana. The paragraph below was copied from a website
Tulipa Clusiana - The dainty Lady Tulip came from the Mediterranean region as long ago as 1636, has small flowers and is not more than 1 foot or so in height. The flowers are white, with a flush of rose on the outer surface, and purplish-black at the base. T. stellata is a near ally. It requires a deep vegetable soil and warm sheltered position.

There is also Tulipa Primulina
Tulipa Primulina - Another fragrant species, coming near sylvestris and blooming in April and May. The creamy-white flowers are edged and occasionally flushed with pink on the outside, and pale yellow within. N. Africa.

11 Sep, 2010


Thanks, Scotsgran! I didn't know about T. primulina. I've got T. saxatilis, and I'm starting T. clusiana and T. s. chrysantha this fall. I'm still looking for T. sylvestris and cultivated (not collected) bulbs of T. cretica and T. goulimyi, all Mediterranean species. I had been surprised that someone hadn't tried to breed a race of low-chill tulips before, but it seems that nearly all of the low elevation Mediterranean species are sterile clones! Weird! Still not the same as a good old Darwin Hybrid for shape and color.

11 Sep, 2010


Hi Tug. this nursery are offering tulipa sylvestris.I found it by looking in the RHS Plant finder site. There are15 suppliers This one has sylvestris and cretica
sorry suzannesylvia we seem to be straying from your question.Hope some of the answers were helpful.

12 Sep, 2010


Yes, sorry Suzannesylvia! I didn't mean to hijack your question.

Thank you Scotsgran. I'll check those out, and PM with results.

13 Sep, 2010

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