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Why don't tulips flower reliably?

Posted by shelli563 zone 6 MA (My Page) on
Tue, May 12, 09 at 17:46

Why don't my tulips flower reliably year after year? I thought these were perennial. The following years, all I get are leaves with no flowers, so I plant new ones in the fall to replace these. Would pulling up the bulbs after bloom and storing them be better?


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RE: Why don't tulips flower reliably?

  • Posted by cnid z5b Ont Canada (My Page) on
    Thu, May 14, 09 at 10:38

Some types, the most common tulips, are not really meant to be perennial - they put on a great show the first year, maybe the second and that it is. There are types that will come back more reliably, but many of then look a bit different than what most people expect from a tulip - they often are shorter, limited colour range, etc. That said, if you look for Fosteriana, they are quite similar to the regular hybrids. They are called "Emperor" tulips. And the other types have many many wonderful features to recommend them - earlier, bright colours, range of sizes, they not only come back - they multiply. I hardly ever buy the regular hybrids anymore. The link I have supplied takes you through the types and comments on how perennial they are likely to be.

The more unusual tulips have actually been fairly easy to find - I get Greigii, Kaufmania, Fosteriana a big box stores. There are also good mail order places for more unusual kinds, but I am in Canada, so my sources won't help you. I don't know anything about this supplier but they have lots of variety on their website.(

Here is a link that might be useful: tulip info

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