What To Plant Over Tulips - Knowledgebase Question

Bethesda, MD
Avatar for paddyrop
Question by paddyrop
May 22, 2001
I'd like to know what to plant or sow over my tulip beds for summer blooming since they have stopped blooming. I suppose it should be something that doesn't send down long roots which would interfere with the dormant bulbs. It would also be nice to have perennials there although some annuals would be nice. Also, is it advisible to remove the pods which form at the top of tulip stalks? Or their leaves, if so, at what time? Thank you.

Answer from NGA
May 22, 2001
Tulips should be deadheaded to prevent the plant using energy on seed formation. To do this, remove the flower stems as soon as the blooms fade. The foliage must be left in place to grow, then allowed to fade and dry up naturally. This process rebuilds the bulb so it can bloom again. Some gardeners will plant tulips to the rear of the bed so that annuals and perennials can grow in front of them. This avoids the problem of disturbing the bulbs with other plantings and also hides the fading tulip foliage. If you are trying to plant on top of or in between the bulbs, you might use smaller annuals such as marigolds, ageratum, and so on.

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