What to do with dead tulips

COnewbie(5)April 23, 2012

I planted about 50 tulips in a brick planter thats attached to my house, it's under the roof and gets strong afternoon & evening sun. I'm in Denver, Co fyi.

The tulips came up really early, got about 5 inches tall, a little bud barely peaking out, and then started to crisp, bud leaves got dry and brittle, leaves turned yellow and went limp. Now I have a planter box full of wilted yellow tulips. I am assuming the box got too hot and I did not water enough. My question is- if they only got to grow for around 6 weeks before going all crsipy and yellow, is this enough time for them to build up nutrients for next year? Should I cut the foliage in half and leave them until fall? Should I assume they died too early to get enough nutrients and will not bloom next year? I would prefer to remove them and plant summer plants, but will leave them if they need more time.

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I would cut my losses and throw them out and get on with my summer planting. Al

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:31AM
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earthworm(6 Pennsylvania)

Many of us cannot do this.
I too failed, but why ?
Probably as the bulbs I uses were not healthy and had not grown to maturity.
I think I may dig them up and see what they look like..
At YH, most if not all the tulips were OK, but in Goldsboro, I had a success rate of about 3 % !
Terrible..The Goldsboro tulips were transplanted from the YH growth.
I think I messed up with the bulbs.
And, I read a lot about "well drained soil"...The one success was in poorly drained soil. Remember last year where it rained every day and my east tulip bay was flooded. I thought that a raised bed would solve this problem, raised only 4-5 inches.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I agree with Al. Since the vast majority of even very successfully grown tulips do not perennialize or return in following years, I'd get rid of the dead ones and replant the area with something else.

Normally I would say a brick planter is not a bad location for spring bulbs - at least it is not in my climate :-) But exposed to strong CO winter cold, perhaps some early hot days with strong sun (that heated up the soil too soon) and the dryness of being under cover makes for a tricky combination. It's hard to remember to check for water in the middle of winter and its hard to do anything significant to moderate those temperature swings.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Thanks so much for all the information! As disapointing as it is, I think I will dig them up and try some Xeri plants in the planter for the summer. How often would you water a brick planter that is attached to your house? I am thinking once a week, so will be looking for flowers in that range...any suggestions?? I might need to switch to a different board? What are your feelings on lily or dahlia bulbs for the planter? I got a couple bags of those, but dont want the same thing to happen to them. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:19PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

Tulips, which are native of modern day Turkey, are perennial plants (like all bulbs), tough and hardy, and can be left for many years in situ with a minimum of care. Don't understand why they didn't like Denver Colorado. Maybe they dried out too quickly. - Ian.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:06AM
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