The Q&A Archives: Increasing Tulip Bulb Longevity

Question: We have some tulips that have bloomed every spring for almost fifteen years! About two years ago their leaves appeared but there were no blooms. Does this mean that these perennials are "spent"? I dug up a clump and found several of the bulbs. I tried transplanting each bulb that was attached to a leaf. Was that worth my time or should we just buy fresh tulip bulbs to put in our garden? Thanks. Sara McDonald Atlanta, GA

Answer: Getting fifteen years of flowers from a batch of tulips in Georgia is quite an achievement. Usually they succumb to the heat and humidity. You can try to replant them after the foliage has died down, amending the soil with bone meal and compost, or as you said, just start over with new bulbs. Whatever you did the first time, you're right on the money with your planting techniques!

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