My tulips are very short! Why is that?

gamebirdMarch 19, 2009

Last fall I planted a hundred or so tulips and this spring they've come up nicely. Three of them are blooming now and I'm sure more will in the next couple days. The flower stems are only a couple inches long, like two or three inches. I don't know much about tulips, but all the pictures I've seen show stems that are 6-8 inches long. The tulips that were growing at our last house were 6-12 inches long, depending on the tulip.

Why are mine so short now? Is it a function of the type of tulip? Or the age? Or something about the soil?

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Did you use different types of tulips? If these bulbs were smaller, and thus had less food, their growth could be stunted.

Different varieties grow to different sizes, so that could be it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:15PM
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These were bulk tulips from Sam's Club. The bulbs looked okay, size-wise, but I don't know a lot about tulips. Will they get bigger in future?

Is this the right time to add bulb food? I gave them all some when I planted them, in the hole with the bulbs. Would it do any good to give them more?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:38PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

According to the link below, planting time, the temperature and moisture can all affect the tulips' height.

Tulips blooming close to ground


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 5:20PM
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Here in zone 9 tulips need to be refrigerated, as the winter is not cold enough. Mine are put in a refrigerator the first of September and planted the first week of December. Winter is our rainy season and normally nothing is needed to be done until after the bloom. This year January was so dry that for the first time I had to water the tulip plantings before they had even come up. Every year when I dig my spent tulips I miss a few and when they bloom next year, they look just as you describe. Al

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:36AM
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jackied164(z6 MA)

Early tulip varieties (which these seem to be for z6) are generally smaller than the later ones.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:14PM
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