Question about best position for tulips

prairiemoon2 z6 MANovember 1, 2009

I don't normally grow tulips, but I broke down and bought some this year. I know they need full sun and I don't have a lot of that. I do have one bed that gets sun all day, and it is full of perennials and grasses. I was going to stick some tulip bulbs behind a big grass, so that after they bloom, the grass will grow up and disguise the dying foliage. If I do that, the area where the tulips are, will then be in shade. I read somewhere they like to bake all summer after bloom, so I'm wondering if that would be a problem? I'm sure someone here has figured this all out by now. [g]

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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

They do like to bake in the sun in summer.
But I plant tulips everywhere in my garden wherever I can insert a trowel. :-D
The ones in front of the house don't usually get full sun in mid summer because of all the trees by the curbs. By the time the trees leaf out the tulip leaves would have started to turn yellow anyway. They return the next year without any problem.

I don't think your grass will be that tall by June/July, prairiemoon. Mine don't.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 4:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks, pitimpinai. I think that area at least will be dry. It has the best drainage I have with a slight slope and I probably water there less than anywhere else. You're right, the grass won't be that tall by then, I'll bet. It is a 'Karley Rose' Pennisetum and I think it was a slow starter last year. Oh goody, another decision made and I will be pleased as punch to have a place to stick a few tulips along with the daffodils. I can't wait for spring, already! [g] Although I am actually looking forward to winter. I am almost ready for some snow but not really the cold drearies. I am enjoying fall though. Yesterday and today was just gorgeous weather. The last gasp before it's supposed to get cold on Wednesday.

Are you planting bulbs this fall?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 6:10PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Every every fall, I always manage to plant bulbs no matter how determined I was in spring not to buy any. :-D
This year I did not order any until late summer. And I onlty wanted a few Fritillaria meleagris for a friend.
The order turned into over 100 fritillaria, 100 Brodaiea, 100 Camassia, 100 tulips and several expensive lilies. lol.

I meant to plant the tulips at the temple. However, I gave 20 to a friend then planted the rest in my own garden instead. :-)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 8:16PM
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flower_addict88(7A NC)

Last year I planted tulip bulbs in almost full shade. The front part of the bed only recieved sun for 4 hours in the early morning. The bed was completly empty, and I wanted to put something in it. They bloomed and grew fine.

I will be planting them in full sun to part sun this year though.

When I first started gardening I ignored the specification of plants, and they flourished. Its funny how they did just fine. I follow directions to the t now, but remember that if I mess something up it will likely be fine.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 11:22PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, you did have some fun this year with your bulb order, pitimpinai. [g] You are lucky to be able to grow frittilaria. I love them, but stay away from them because we have Red Lily Beetle here that is a nasty pest on the lilies and frittilaria is an alternative host. I also enjoy Camassia which I winter sowed from seed one year, but they didn't come back the next spring for some reason. I am trying to imagine where you could find room to 'plant more in your full to overflowing garden though. [g] I think we have similar small properties? Mine is 1/4 acre and we ripped everything in the back out in '04, so I haven't quite filled it back up again yet. I am excited for your spring too. Can't wait to see photos! :-)

Danielle, you make a very good point. sometimes a plant just didn't read it's own specs. [g] I agree and have had similar experiences with boxwood. Some people seem to have trouble with winter damage and I rarely do. I planted mine before I knew you were supposed to be careful where you put them. I got lucky. I am forever moving perennials and shrubs because I haven't found the right spot but I am getting tired of doing it. lol I know I will keep doing it, but I am trying a little harder to get it right the first time.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 2:55AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

pitimpinai, "only" 400+ bulbs??

We are slaves to the pretty blooms...LOL.

Bulbs in the garage, Fall clearance plants outside, seeds already delivered and more to is good! :)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:49PM
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flower_addict88(7A NC)

Speaking of bulbs a plenty....I was planting lily bulbs the other day, and the DH opens the screen door. He says you know you still have bulbs in the shed? I have bulbs in the shed???? Ummmmmm....sure I knew that lol

Thats when I wondered if I had too many flowers/bulbs.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 9:10PM
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cheleinri(z6 RI)

Tulips are pretty much guaranteed to grow the first year sun or shade. From what I understand, the flowers are pretty much formed inside the bulb when you get them. If I'm treating them as annuals I don't worry about sun but for ones you are hoping to perennialize it's best to give them as much sun as you've got. I agree with pitimpinai- they really don't need sun all summer, just the beginning of summer before the foliage dies down so near the grasses might be just fine..maybe perfect even.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 6:57PM
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