What can you do to improve the odds of Tulips naturalizing?
I bought 2 types of tulips back in 2004. The first was a bulk bag of medium sized red tulips for about $10.99 for 50 bulbs. The 2nd was a slightly larger red/yellow bi-color that came in bags of 8 for about $5.99 - $6.99.
I planted the cheaper red ones in a straight line across the front of my front beds, and the bi-colored ones in 3 patches of 5, just behind the red ones in between 4 small shrubs in the same bed.
The next spring ALL tulips grew and flowered.
The following spring all bi-colored tulips came up and flowered, but only about 40% of the red ones came up.
The following spring, ALL bi-colors came up again and bloomed, but only about 10-15% of the red ones came up, but only 1/2 bloomed.
The 4th season, there seemed to be more bi-colored tulips than I'd originally planted, and only 2-3 red tulips came up with -0- blooms.
^^What's up with all that?^^
So, I was told that Darwin Tulips and Species tulips as well as some smaller tulips are the only tulips that will naturalize or perinnealize. The other varieties will die off the next year or within a few years.
But another lady at another bulb company told me that even Darwins and Species tulips, as well as smaller tulips will only keep coming up for a few years, then die off.
She said that they might produce new bulbs underground, but these new bulbs are immature, and will die off without producing new bulbs of their own, then ALL the tulips that were originally planted will be dead and gone, and will need to be replaced.
She also said that there is nothing you can do to reliably help guarantee that they will come back the next season.
She also said NOT to plant the tulip bulbs deeper than recommended, or you will cause more problems and make things worse. She said that planting tulips deeper to benefit them is a myth(?)
So, I am going to be planting some very nice fringed, peony type, Parrot, and double tulips in the next few days. I'd really hate for them not to come back, so what is the truth?
I plan on planting most in medium sized pots, with large holes in the bottom.