Bulbs forum: Transplanting Tulips

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Jun 2, 2013 12:42 PM CST
I have some tulips growing on the est side of the house, which is the only place for a flower bed that is in mostly shade. It gets some very early morning sun, and that is all. There are two large trees that give it shade until the sun passes over, and then the house shades it the rest of the day. I brought quite a few shade plants with me when I moved that I had planned on putting there, and the tulips are in the way. They bloomed, since there were no leaves on the trees to block the sun, but I missed the bloom by a few days. I want to transplant them elsewhere to make room for the plants I brought with me. Anyone know if it's possible to do that this time of year? The foliage hasn't begun to die back yet, so I'm wondering if I can dig them up carefully and move them, without trimming the foliage. Or, would it be best to dig them up, cut back the foliage, and store them until fall? If neither of these will work, I'm going to try transplanting them elsewhere now, and hope for the best. If they don't survive, I'll replace them in the fall. I am not willing to wait until fall to transplant them.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Natalie
Name: Dora
Calgary (Zone 3a)
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dorab
Jun 2, 2013 12:54 PM CST
I don't see why not, except I think it would depend on the type of tulip. Most of the newer hybrids only flower two or 3 years in my experience.

I'm in a similar situation. I have tulips growing in shade on the side of the house which I planted 2 or 3 years ago. They were lovely the first year, but the deer discovered them, and they are chomped down to the ground every spring. I was thinking of transplanting them, but like I said, the lifespan isn't that long, so why bother.

On the other hand I would move one of the older hybrids, or a species tulip once they were finished blooming.

Thumb of 2013-06-02/dorab/6fddb8

My deer food ... sigh.
Dora
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Jun 2, 2013 1:02 PM CST
Dora, I have been very lucky that the deer haven't found these, but it may be because they are up against the house. We have deer everywhere, and no fence yet to keep them out. Since I missed the bloom, and I wasn't the one who planted them, I have no idea what they look like, or which type of tulip they are. I guess I'll take a chance on moving them and hope for the best!
Natalie
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 14, 2013 12:13 AM CST
Tulips should be transpalnted when vegetation is finished, that is when the leaves turn yellow. Otherwise, they will not bloom in the next season. The reason is that unlike lily and daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs annuals. Each year the older bulb is substituded with newer one. When transpalnting during vegetation, the roots are damaged and cut (they don't recover) and the formation of new replacement bulbs stops. They remain small and don't flower the next season. Besides, transpalnting during vegetaion can be the reason of mechanical virus spreading, when one of the plants is infected.

The thinking that most of the newer hybrids flower for few seasons is not true. All tulips are good perrenuals, but for better display the newerones should be harvested annualy or every other year. The reason is that Dutch bulbs are treated to high temperature during storage, which seriously increases the rate of propagation. Because of this the large bulbs splits into many samller bulbs, which don't bloom next year. So the newly bought tulips flower perfectly in the 1-st year and then in the following season there are considerably less flowers. These bulbs must be dug up by all means the fist year and divided. After one year of regrowing everything normalizes and the tulips do perfectly every year forming large high quality bulbs.

Beacuse of this Dutch commersial trick, many people make opinion that new tulips are not good perrenual. And they every year they buy new ones, replacing the old one. These increases the sales of bulb traders and their business go very well. For seler is profitable to have less compitent clients to sale more. That is why nowadays it is qite difficult to get a good book with deep knowledge about tulip culture.

I am an experienced grower and tulip coolector. I grow over 600 tulip varieties (new and old ones) for over 20 year and must say that all tulips are supper perrenuals.
Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 14, 2013 12:24 AM CST
Thanks for the information Zhirair. I'd love to see pictures of your gardens! They must be amazing!

I've had tulips rebloom for 20 years, so I know that they aren't all going to stop blooming after just a year or two. These came from the US, not Holland, so maybe that is why? In fact, my husband's grandmother ordered tulips from Holland, about 20 years ago, and they sent her a letter back, saying that they would send them when their shipment from the US had arrived! She was living less than 1/2 hour from where they were being shipped from, over to Holland, and then back to her! She canceled her order and bought them from the original source, and they grew form many years. I bought mine from the same place that she did, and they were dug the day before we bought them. I didn't know about the heat during storage. Makes sense that they wouldn't do well after that.

I went ahead and moved some of the tulips to a new location, leaving all of the foliage (vegetation) on them. I also dug deep, and didn't disturb the roots. They acted like they hadn't been moved, which was a good sign. Hopefully they come back next year!
Natalie
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Aug 14, 2013 5:41 AM CST
Thanks for the information on tulip bulbs and the commercial tricks.
I shall try to remember to dig them up after flowering the first year.
I have been wondering why they are always small bulbs after flowering.

It might be an idea for you to write an article on this for the ATP sometime?
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 14, 2013 10:50 AM CST
I agree Caroline! That would be a great article!!!
Natalie
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Aug 14, 2013 1:21 PM CST
Zhirair, very interesting! Thanks for sharing. Your method reminds me of a gardener I knew as a child, who had a stone raised bed in his yard, that each spring was full of red Tulips (followed by annuals for summer). He always waited till the tulip foliage was yellowing before planting annuals, then dug the bulbs and stored them for the summer. He said he'd been replanting the same Tulips for many years, and always had a colorful display.

To be sure I'm clear, after you dig and divide the bulbs after their first bloom, do you continue to dig and divide them annually?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 14, 2013 3:49 PM CST
It is a pleasure to share info and be of any use. I will respond to the question a bit later.
Will show some picture of my Breeder tulips, which are now included in Single Late division. These are vigorous late blooming tulips known for their unique and unusual colors.

Tulpa 'Louis XIV'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/cd9084

Tulipa 'Bronze King'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/997bb4

Tulipa 'Smetana' (a huge and vigorous tulip growing over 1 meter tall)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/90e039

Tulipa 'Babuschkiny Skazki' (Ukranian variety)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/38f349

Tulipa 'Dymka' (Russian variety)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/ee3640

Tulipa 'Cardinal Manning' and 'Yuma' (background)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/57ed9e

Tulipa 'Dom Pedro'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/a1a1c4

Tulipa 'Wisconsin'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/9f60ff

Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 14, 2013 3:52 PM CST
Gorgeous Zhirair!! My favorite is the first one. I've never seen anything like it before! The colors are stunning! The rest are also beautiful, but that one looks very different to me! The last one is another one that I have never seen those colors on before. Wow! Thanks for sharing your beautiful tulips with us!
Natalie
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 14, 2013 3:59 PM CST
One of my favorite lily-flowered tulips 'Ballade' and its colorfull sports

Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/b7ef0f

Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/94a8d4

'Ballade White'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/d48a52
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/1be130

'Ballade Orange'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/119f70

'Skif' ('Scyth') (Ukranian variety, has very beautiful blooms with large center, nice color)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/1b4df6

'Kamennyj Tzvetok' ('Stony Flower') (Ukranian variety, one of the bluish tulips)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/fadeb7

Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 14, 2013 4:05 PM CST
Natalie said:Gorgeous Zhirair!! My favorite is the first one. I've never seen anything like it before! The colors are stunning! The rest are also beautiful, but that one looks very different to me! The last one is another one that I have never seen those colors on before. Wow! Thanks for sharing your beautiful tulips with us!


You're wellcome, 'Natalie'.
The first one, is indeed, very unique and beautiful. It is one of my favorites. It used to be a very famous and popular tulip on its time. These tuips are not in the commerce anymore, because they don't force well. But they are perfect garden tulips.
Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
Image
Boyed
Aug 14, 2013 4:19 PM CST
Tulipa 'Black Leader' (the darkest black tulip)
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/307146

To make a better idea about its color I also post a comparison picture with widespread 'black tulip' 'Queen of Night'.
(from left to right - 'Black Eagle', 'Black Leader', 'Queen of Night'
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/269312

Another brownish tulip. This can be grown without lifting for decades.
Thumb of 2013-08-14/Boyed/44d722

Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Aug 15, 2013 7:17 AM CST
Gorgeous and such unique colors Zhirair! You're quickly convincing me to seriously explore Tulips again. For the last few years I've only been growing species, but I have missed the elegance of those tall late singles.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Aug 15, 2013 10:28 PM CST

Plants Admin

Your explanation is eye opening Zhirair and your tulip beds stunning. Like Neal (because of Neal?), I've been adding species tulips for a few years and always enjoy them in the spring. I suppose tulip planting time is fast approaching.
Evan
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 15, 2013 11:13 PM CST
Evan, if you hadn't mentioned tulip planting time approaching, it would have passed me by! It's so hot here that I forget that summer is winding down. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather, and hopefully the wasps will be gone in time to get some bulbs in the ground.
Natalie
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Aug 16, 2013 10:08 AM CST
Natalie said:Evan, if you hadn't mentioned tulip planting time approaching, it would have passed me by!


Me, too. *Blush*

Thanks for tipping the great post from Boyed, Evan, or I'd probably have missed it as well. Thumbs up

Fascinating insights, Boyed. Thank you! Thumbs up


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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 16, 2013 12:44 PM CST
Boyed said:You're wellcome, 'Natalie'.
The first one, is indeed, very unique and beautiful. It is one of my favorites. It used to be a very famous and popular tulip on its time. These tuips are not in the commerce anymore, because they don't force well. But they are perfect garden tulips.

I have never forced a tulip before, and can't imagine certain ones not being sold because they don't force well. That's frustrating, because I sure would love to have that one in my flower beds!
Natalie
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 16, 2013 2:38 PM CST
CarolineScott said:
It might be an idea for you to write an article on this for the ATP sometime?


I have many professional articles related to different aspects of tulip culture. Unfortunately, they are all in Russian. I need to find some time to translate them into English. I am also writing a book, dedicated to tulips with very detailed and professional info. Plus detailed description and pictures of many rare and common cv-s.

And I thank you all for the compliments. I am pleased that you liked my tulips.
Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/
[Last edited by Boyed - Aug 16, 2013 3:04 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #467154 (19)
Name: Zhirair Basmajyan
Vanadzor, ARMENIA
Never say never
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Boyed
Aug 16, 2013 3:01 PM CST
gemini_sage said:
To be sure I'm clear, after you dig and divide the bulbs after their first bloom, do you continue to dig and divide them annually?


I continue to dig annually mainly the varieties, which are in limited quantities for propagation purposes. It is very desirable to harvest tulips annually for perfect display. But my collection counts over 600 varieties, I am physically not able to deal with such a scope of work. Because of work, I am free only over the week-ends. Though I often work in the garden during working days after work. So I divided my collection into 3 harvesting parts, and each year I harvest only one part, plus the varieties in limited quantities.

If tulips are planted in sunny location, Darwin Hybrids, Greigiis, Fosterianas and Kaufmannianas can be harvested ones in three years. The tulips from the other divisions - every other year (the cv-s with high rate of propagation) and ones in three years (the ones with lower rate of propagation). They are some very old varieties, which can grow without lifting for over 15-20 years. We call them grandma's tulips, you just plant them and forget about them. They do well every year.

About the location, why sunny. Most of the tulip species originate from Central Asia, where summers are very hot. So during summer period many varieties, especially the ones from 12, 13, 14 and 15 division need summer baking to do well. That is why in Northern regions with cool summers, it is very desirable to harvest the bulbs annually and store them in warm place (under the temperature 25 - 30 C) until planting for good display in the following year.

For those gardeners who are very busy there is a good way to grow tulips for 10 or more years without harvesting (even new commercial ones). You just plant the bulbs 35 -40 cm deep, which seriously decreases the rate of propagation). This works very well. There is also another plus - the bulbs planted deeply rarely get infected with fungal diseases, the fungus is mainly in upper soil layers, as in deep layers there is less air.

I also grow species. besides, I grow some local rare in the culture species as well. I will show their pix in future posts.
Zhirair, Tulip collector, bulb enthusiast
http://vintagetulips.narod.ru/

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