Bulbs forum: Unproductive Tulips - What Happened?

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Name: LavenderLady
Scio, OR (Zone 8a)
Apr 14, 2017 11:20 AM CST
Why did my tulips, newly planted last year in pots, produce only 2 flowers out of 16 bulbs. The other bulbs look as if they died in the bulb before growing. See photo.
Thank you.
M. W.
Thumb of 2017-04-14/wicksworld/ceb1b7

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Apr 15, 2017 1:30 PM CST
A number of things could cause this. Too long dry cold storage or storage at too high temperatures and exposure to ethylene are factors that I know of, but there could be more. Ethylene can come from for instance ripening fruit or from fusarium infected bulbs. Some cultivars are more sensitive than others.

If any of these conditions sounds familiar, then you have your answer. I have experienced this myself with bulbs that I probably stored too warm.
Name: LavenderLady
Scio, OR (Zone 8a)
Apr 17, 2017 11:11 AM CST
Thanks William. That makes a lot of sense. I'll be careful with my next batch!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Apr 17, 2017 11:20 AM CST
I know how you feel LavenderLady. I got some tulip bulbs given to me late last year, not one grew. Although we are having a good extended cool down, this past winter was really too wet for us, so I think my tulip bulbs just rotted. The crocus made it..but not the tulips. Oh well..win some ..lose some..learn along the way. I was not really keen on planting tulips since I have tried them before and our conditions is just too warm for them at times. But it was a nice gift last year, so I tried.

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