Some Bulbs Not Growing - Knowledgebase Question

Buena Park, CA
Question by john710
January 31, 2001
I planted red tulip bulbs, 5 across, 8 inches apart 12 inches deep. 3 of the bulbs have grown out of the soil, but two have not popped out yet. The interesting thing about these bulbs, is that the 3 that have popped out are in different growth stages (like a stair effect). Tulip 1 is about 6 inches, tulip 2 is 5 inches and tulip 3 is 4 inches with the other two still in the ground. What is wrong with this picture? I was hoping for all 5 tulips to sprout at the same time.

Answer from NGA
January 31, 2001


Sounds as though some of your bulbs are early risers and others are real sleepyheads. All plants perform according to a pre-determined genetic code and even seeds sown under the same conditions at the same moment with germinate and sprout according to their own timeclocks. Eventually, though, they all catch up and closely match one another in terms of height and flower production. I suspect your sleepyhead bulbs will wake up soon and work hard to catch up to their bed and border mates. Their blooms may not open on the same day, but they should all be in bloom together sometime during their normal bloom time.

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