Tulip Rookie

shw104(7)April 23, 2011

Hi everyone...

I want to plant a fairly large tulip bed for next Spring though I haven't had the best of luck w/tulips over the years.

A few questions:

1. To date most of the tulips we've planted have been ones that we picked up at local grocery stories, typically around Easter. Are there better strains that grow better than those typically sold at local stores? Nursery or Wholesale? I know the roses bushes we planted from a Specialist Rose Nursery are heads and tails better than the ones we got from Walmart... specially the ones recommended for our climate conditions.

2. Does anyone have any recommendations where to buy good tulips on bulk?

3. When is the best time of the year to plant a new tulip bed?

Thanks for the help.... :)


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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Order your tulips bulbs from a reputable source ie. Van Engelen in summer for fall delivery. If you're hoping for naturalization choose Darwins. Keep them refrigerated (no fruits present!) til planting.

I don't know the specific month for your zone 7. Maybe October?

There are some informative sites about tulips - too much to learn to post here. You're right. There are much better tulips than those sold in grocery stores.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.vanengelen.com/catview.cgi?_fn=Category&_category=Tulips

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 6:20PM
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Van Engelen is a great resource for bulk bulbs, I also shop at Brecks and White Flower Farm (www.brecks.com and www.whiteflowerfarm.com). I started with bulbs from Brecks which I found were more expensive per unit, but were the best quality of any I've purchased. But it's the difference between an A+ and an A / A- rating so you still get really nice tulips from other sources. I also have a few hundred I got from Van Engelen last year - the darwin hybrids are HUGE and beautiful, and the others are all getting ready to bloom - looks like no problems or duds.

The bulbs you buy from the store have been forced and are what might be described as "tired." You might be able to get a bloom from them with heavy off season fertilizing (when I say heavy, you still want to go with the package directions, just fertilize a few times... too heavy a hand at one feeding can destroy what you're trying to help by "burning" it).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:31AM
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tulip bulbs are sold in the fall. they are meant to be planted in the fall for spring bloom. they need the cold winter weather to be able to come up & bloom in the spring. the ones you see for sale around easter are forced in greenhouses to be in bloom around easter. they may or may not come up again the next spring if you plant the bulbs after easter. depends on how much cold they get during that winter. also, never cut down the dying green foliage of tulips after they get done blooming. if you cut it down before it turns yellow, you won't get tulips from them the next year. I accidently learned the hard way. I had some gorgeous mystery double yellow tulips come up one year. I accidently ran over the leaves with a lawn mower & never seen them come up again. lesson learned.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 12:38AM
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