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How To Grow Tulips Successfully

By LarryR
September 26, 2011

Are you relatively new to gardening and will be planting your first tulip bulbs this fall? Or have you grown tulips before only to be disappointed that after their first spring they never bloomed again? Here are some ideas to make tulip-growing a rewarding experience.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Sep 25, 2011 7:14 PM CST
Lots of good info and love all the photos.

We live less than an hour from Biltmore http://www.biltmore.com/visit/house_gardens/gardens/bloom.as...

and they have lots and lots of gardens and yes, they change their bulbs every year.

I thought they changed the bulbs just because they could - I had no idea why. They do give their discarded bulbs to their employees which is nice.

I learned a lot in your article Larry - thank you.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 26, 2011 4:16 PM CST
Loved this article Larry. I am new to species tulips just this year. Catherine (Clusianna) at Cubits introduced me to them.
I have ordered some that should be here any day now. Can't wait for next spring to see them bloom. I'll be growing them in my raised semp beds.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
Sep 26, 2011 6:27 PM CST
Thanks for your kind comments, Vicki. I envy your proximity to Biltmore. One of these years Wilma and I will make it to the East Coast to tour all those wonderful old estates.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Sep 26, 2011 6:38 PM CST
Glad you liked the article, Lynn. Good for you for your willingness to try species tulips. I think you'll be glad you did. Please let me know how they do for you. And thank you for mentioning Catherine, by the way. She and I were looking for a source for 'Rob Vanderlinden' some time ago, and I just found one recently.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: leaflady
planet earth
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leaflady
Sep 26, 2011 8:58 PM CST
Thank you so much for a very informative article. I've done volunteer
work at a botanical garden and you are right about planting blooming
plants when the bulbs stopped blooming.
But I didn't learn a lot about raising tulips. I did bring home dozens of
dug up and discarded bulbs some of which bloomed and many of which
did not. Somewhere along the line I managed to accidentally get a few
species bulbs. They have multiplied wonderfully even tho my care of them
may not have been the best.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Sep 27, 2011 5:10 PM CST
Your article is perfect timing for me Larry. It's been so long since I planted tulips I'd just about forgotten everything and your article reminded me.

I have 93 bulbs waiting to be planted (there were 100 but I gave my best friend 7 for her birthday)

Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Sep 27, 2011 6:27 PM CST
What a wonderful friend you are Margaret Thumbs up Hurray! Lovey dubby
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Sep 27, 2011 6:41 PM CST
Thank you Vic she also got some hyacinths and crocus and will get a rose bush she wants in the spring.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
Sep 27, 2011 9:55 PM CST
Thanks for your kind comments, leaflady and Margaret. Glad you enjoyed the article. Smiling

Margaret, I think I'm going to move to Delta and become one of your friends! Rolling on the floor laughing
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Sep 28, 2011 4:58 AM CST
Larry you come right ahead there's plenty of room in the neighborhood. I tend to be generous with my friends and family like that.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Sep 28, 2011 11:02 PM CST
Thumbs up
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Aug 31, 2012 9:36 PM CST


I just bought some bulbs on the hopes of planting some in planters, which can be placed in a sunny spot. I don't have much sun to speak of so have to be prepared to try a spot or two. I have two huge trees which overlap most of my planting area. When they are fully leafed out the sun is nil.

Spring could be OK with the leaves just emerging.

Thanks for this great article.
I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Sep 1, 2012 8:56 AM CST
Those huge trees won't be any problem at all for spring-flowering bulbs! Crocuses & Daffs are even earlier than tulips, but Alliums are the only things I can think of that might flower so late in the season that shade could be an issue for them.. and any of them will flower the first year, sun is just a factor for letting the leaves replenish the bulb for the following year.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Sep 1, 2012 10:31 AM CST

Thanks, I have bought a couple of types and will see what happens

Thanks for your suggestions. Now if I can just stay away from Mike's coop. I tend to do things in a huge way once I get started on something. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

And I just do not have room for 50 bulbs. Have been reading up on the bulb forum to try to see what I need to do. Mesh bags are the next thing on my list

as I have little critters who like to stop by my in ground plantings for lunch.



Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Foliage Fan Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Organic Gardener Cat Lover
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LarryR
Sep 6, 2012 3:09 PM CST
Marilyn, I just read recently that chicken grit works just as well as plastic or wire mesh. I'm going to give that a try this fall, IF I can find someone who sells chicken grit. Perhaps a farm supply store.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Sep 6, 2012 3:27 PM CST


You mean the grit will deter the rabbits and bunnies from eating my stuff.

I can get more chicken grit at the farm supply store not too far from me.

I bought a bunch this spring to use as top dressing on my succulent garden.



Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 7, 2012 5:50 AM CST
Chili powder and /or cayenne powder down in the hole and on the bulbs will discourage
critters. Peat moss on top of plantings helps too.
Don't put the chili or cayenne on top as the critters can then get it in their eyes etc.
They just have to smell it. They don't like digging in peat.
Also planting daffodil or allium with the tulip bulbs helps as they eat tulip bulbs ,but not the daffodils or alliums.

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