When will I know if my lilies & tulips are coming back?

ffreidlMarch 10, 2010

I've got things sprouting outside. Daffodils are doing just fine - I can see nice buds being formed. I have a few tulips coming up but I don't see anything but fairly loose leaves. My question is: When will I know if they're actually going to bloom this year? With Daffodils you see the buds right away. Should I be seeing buds when I look down into the tulips too?

And on a similar note, when do you start seeing signs of life in your lilies? I see some leaves starting on my columbines, and lots of daylily sprouts, but I don't see anything going on in my lily patch.



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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

When you say "coming back" does this mean that the tulips were not planted this last fall? If so, chances are you will not have tulip blooms. Most areas don't get enough cold in the winter to induce them to bloom more than the first spring after they are planted, the Pacific Northwest being one notable exception. The foliage, however, will return for years. I just pull them out when the blooms are done. Sorry. I know this isn't what you want to hear.

I don't believe lilies come up this early. If I remember correctly they emerge after the soil warms up.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:44AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

You may or may not get blooms on your tulips if this is their second (or later) spring. Most tulips are not really perennial and only bloom well for one spring. After that you will see foliage, but a lot fewer blooms, if any.

Now if they are the more Perennial Darwin Hybrid tulips, they should bloom for you just fine If you aren't going to plant either Darwins, or the species tulips, then you should count on having a good show only the first season and just pull them up and treat them as annuals.

Species Tulips

Both perennial Darwins and species tulips should do well in your zone.


Here is a link that might be useful: Perennial Tulips

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:05PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Are you Zone 6? Lilies will not be up for a while.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:04PM
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Thanks for answering everyone.

I am zone 6. That's encouraging, Linnea, that I shouldn't be seeing anything yet as far as my lilies go.

As far as the tulips, yes, they're from the previous fall not last fall. I knew they may never flower again, but what I was wondering is when I would know for sure. With the daffodils, I can clearly see flower buds, and the leaves have really only been up for a week. Is it the same with tulips (that you would normally see the buds pretty soon after the leaves come up)? Or do the buds appear later even on viable tulips?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:55PM
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The bud of a tulip is usually curled inside a leaf, which will be the third or fourth leaf the stalk produces. Depending on type of tulip it may be at least a month before we will see tulip buds here in zone 6.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 5:30PM
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Thanks sunandshadow! That's exactly what I was trying to figure out.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:33AM
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