The Q&A Archives: tulips

Question: I planted tulips and daffodils before winter and only a mall part of tulips grew and prepared to flower. The flowers are tiny. I live in Fairbanks, AK. I wonder if they should have been planted in spring. Thanks.

Answer: Spring flowering bulbs should be planted September 15th - October 15th in your gardening region, when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50?F. But, be sure to plant approximately six weeks before the ground freezes to allow sufficient time for rooting. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

If some of the bulbs failed to emerge and those that did had small flowers, it's possible they were planted too deeply and really had to struggle to get their heads out of the ground. Wait until all the foliage has died down and then dig and replant your tulips and daffodils. Each bulb should be planted about 4 inches deep and spaced 4 inches apart. Deer and rodents find the bulbs and the foliage irresistable so I wonder if some of yours did come up and then were eaten by the wildlife?

Hope you have a better show next spring!

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