Bulbs forum: What's wrong with my tulips?

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Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Mar 13, 2012 7:17 PM CST
I've been anxiously waiting for my first-ever tulips to open up. The leaves have been growing for almost a month.

Today, I saw that the blooms have no stems at all! They're literally at the level of the soil. Blinking

They were potted up in Nov/Dec in a well draining mix.

They look so odd! Sad What do you think happened? Confused

Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 14, 2012 9:21 AM CST
Depending on what type of tulip you planted that may be entirely normal. Do you remember the name and type of tulip? Do you have a picture you can show. A lot of species tulips grow that way. Some potted tulips also won't bloom or have mangled blooms if they have been grown too warm. I tried forcing tulips a couple time and because I live in an apartment and can't regulate the temp much or have a bright cool spot for them to grow I have never had any success with forcing tulips.
Thumb of 2012-03-14/bearsearch/b30fc8

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These are some examples of species with low growing flowers. The plants above are no more than 4 to 6 inches tall.
[Last edited by bearsearch - Mar 14, 2012 11:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Mar 14, 2012 9:29 AM CST
Love that last variegated leaf tulip, Brian! Do you know the name?
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 14, 2012 11:21 AM CST
It's tulipa praestans 'Unicum'. Brent and Becky's have it listed for their fall catalogue already. It's a great plant, I've had it now at least 8 years and it just keeps multiplying and multiplying. the foliage is nice too with the white stripe adding interest till it dies off. This photo was taken a number of years ago and the clump is so much larger now. It also blooms early and disappears early.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
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PollyK
Mar 14, 2012 11:27 AM CST
Thanks!
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Mar 14, 2012 12:19 PM CST
I didn't buy them here, but they were supposed to look like this:
http://www.dutchbulbs.com/store/webspecials/25121

But the buds are forming at the level of the soil. The only camera I have is attached to my computer! Sad I'll try to take a pic and show you. They look so odd! Shrug!
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Mar 14, 2012 12:26 PM CST
Where are you growing them and how much of a cold period did you give them?
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Mar 14, 2012 6:28 PM CST
They're in a pot outside and they got our weirdly warm winter.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Mar 14, 2012 6:46 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'm experiencing the same thing, ssgardener. The bulbs are supposed to have been pre-chilled and my weather is the same as always, but this year's tulip bulbs are all starting to bloom at ground level. Maybe I planted them too deep in the containers. I usually plant them in the ground, but I ran out of "ground" and had to grow them in pots.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Mar 14, 2012 7:07 PM CST
I also planted them deep in the pots to avoid the squirrels.

I said to DH, "Look what's happening to the tulips!" and he said, "Oh, they look nice, honey."

Shrug! Hilarious!

Well, I guess you could just consider them cute the way they are.
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Mar 30, 2012 2:38 PM CST
Terri, I planted some in one of my patio containers and they have done well and in fact are in bloom now. They are called 'Pretty in pink" triump..think I bought them at garden center in Olney last year. I think either I'm going to throw some more potting soil in the pot and plant some annuals around them or wait till the foliage dies back and dig them up and let them dry and hang in net bag in garage this winter. Waiting for the foliage to die back is not my cup of tea, it's call no patience.
I found a few more duplicate gardening magazines I'll save for you till I see you.
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Mar 30, 2012 2:43 PM CST
I have never pre-chilled any bulbs before planting. If I pre-chilled them in our refrigerator, my DH would have me committed to the looney bin! Wished we did have an extra refrigerator in garage. Have a small freezer. Check the gardening blog by Kevin Lee Jacob of NY. It's called A garden for the house or A house for the garden. I get the name of his blog mixed up..you will see pics on his blog of bulbs in pots in his extra refrigerator being pre-chilled. I'd think the weather in NY would be cold enough that one wouldn't need to pre-chill bulbs. Maybe in warmer climates like the South and in California, Arizona and Nevada, they would need to pre-chill theirs.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Mar 30, 2012 3:19 PM CST
Hi Pippi!

I bought that bag of tulips at a garden center and I'm not sure I'll be doing that again.

It was supposed to be mixed colors in shades of lavender. But they were all one color. I understand the stunted growth may have been related to this crazy warm winter we had, but I'm even more disappointed that I didn't get the pretty colors that was promised in the packaging.

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