Bulbs forum: Tulips - which ones to buy and where?

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Name: Lori Morrow
Enid, OK (Zone 6b)
I want them all!
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enidcandles
Aug 28, 2011 10:34 AM CST
I want to add some tulips to the gardens but don't know which ones to get. I helped my friend plant 500 in her gardens a few years ago. She had purchased the big bags from WalMart and Lowes; they were absolutely beautiful the following spring but did not return. I would like to plant ones that will return for many years but have no idea what to look for or where to find them.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to spend a ton of money for only one season of blooms.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
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gemini_sage
Aug 29, 2011 6:49 AM CST
My favorites for reliable return are the species. There are several forms of T.clusiana, and they're the showiest species I've grown. Brent&Becky's Bulbs and John Scheepers (VanEngelen) offer a good assortment of species, and Touch of Nature offers a few varieties (at excellent prices).

Of the hybrids, the Darwin Hybrids are about the best for perennializing.

Even among those that are better about returning from year to year, they perform best in a location where they can dry out during the summer. They resent moisture during their dormant time.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Lori Morrow
Enid, OK (Zone 6b)
I want them all!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Oklahoma
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enidcandles
Aug 29, 2011 10:53 AM CST
Thank you so much, that get me started in the right direction!
central Illinois
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jmorth
Aug 31, 2011 9:04 AM CST
I've read (and practice) that planting tulips very deep (8") will boost their potential perennialization. I do this especially with Darwins and have had some varieties successfully return for several years.
Thumb of 2011-08-31/jmorth/0634b3
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Oct 11, 2011 6:50 PM CST
Kaufmanii and Greggii tulips are often good perennializers also. I've had good luck with T. humilis varieties like Little Beauty returning and even multiplying well, especially if they get "baked" (warm & dry, not next to a soaker hose, and good drainage is a must) in the summer.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Oct 11, 2011 11:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

Ditto regarding Critters comments on Little Beauty Kaufmanii. LB has increased like crazy for me. Sounds like I'll have to relocate several different species next spring though as I moved them to an area that I water a lot in the summer. Thanks for the life (lives) saving tip Critter.
Evan
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Oct 12, 2011 8:47 AM CST
I think bulbs in general like to be dry during their dormant period. I do have bulbs in beds that I irrigate with soaker hoses... I just put them along the edge of the bed or 2-3 feet away from the nearest soaker. The place where LB's have done best for me is in the bed along my side pathway... the bed gets irrigation, but there's really good drainage by the path due to its gravel underlayment, and I think they like the extra heat that the pavers soak up also.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Oct 14, 2011 6:14 AM CST
Daffodils are one of the most reliable bulbs, as they are not eaten by critters. Tulips, however are considered tasty "dinner" by most critters, so even reliable varieties are prone to end up on their dinnerplate.
Name: Dollie Parker
Louisiana (Zone 9a)
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dollie
Jan 31, 2012 1:38 PM CST
I have 4 or 5 packs of tulips, 12 to a pk free for shipping. They are posted on FB just scroll down until you see post:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bayou-Blooms-Tropical-Plant-Nursery/117103678306003


Happy gardening!
Dollie

bayoubloomstropicalplants.net
Where we grow plants just for you!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 12, 2012 3:51 PM CST
That is were I Buy all my bulbs, Brent&Becky's Bulbs and John Scheepers (VanEngelen). Both have a really great selection and I get good bulbs. This past fall, I only put in about 75 tulips but the year before about 500. I hope the older ones show up and still look good too. Around here the tulips are really stunning the year after planting, okay the year afer and poor the third year and need new bulbs after that. I put my tulips deeper this time so hope that they might come back better, we will see. I like Darwin tulips but try other types also.
Name: Laura Lee
Gilmer, TX
Hot and humid zone 8b in East Texas
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LiveOak
Mar 11, 2012 11:55 AM CST
I see that this is an older thread but I will reply anyway.
I planted 'Blue Diamond' tulips 5 years ago in my yard in East Texas, in addition to many many other tulips. Of the several cultivars planted, the Blue Diamonds are the only ones that have returned year after year. This will be the fourth year they have come back.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Mar 11, 2012 12:12 PM CST
Brent and Beckies has their bulbs up already for 2012. Order before July (I always do) and get the early ordering discount.

https://store.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/spring/
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 11, 2012 12:56 PM CST
I've found the species most reliable for returning. I have had many of the hybrids return but often they take a year or two to recover. I planted several varieties over a three or four year period and now I have a different show every year as some bloom and some rest. Dry summers and excellent drainage increase the chances of return as well.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Mar 11, 2012 1:05 PM CST
Are the species the ones with the short stems? I like my tulips to have long stems. Not that they need to be really long, just what I think of as tulips looking.

The return I have this year on the darwins is very good. Looks like all of them. But maybe half only on the early tulips, if that. And some other fancy kinds I got did not come up at all.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 11, 2012 1:34 PM CST
Most species are shorter but some are tall. Tulipa sprengeri is tall as well as very late.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Mar 11, 2012 1:45 PM CST
Thanks. I did just look at the species tulip section at Scheepers but they are not for me. Well, except for TANGERINE BEAUTY. I do like the looks of that one but it is too short and blooms too late for me.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 12, 2012 9:46 AM CST
Here's an example of how well species tulips naturalize.
Thumb of 2012-03-12/bearsearch/677dec
central Illinois
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jmorth
Mar 12, 2012 11:13 AM CST
Very cool.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Mar 12, 2012 12:00 PM CST
That does look very pretty.
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
Mar 12, 2012 5:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

Great shot Brian
Evan

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