Return to the Bulbs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Low chill species tulips?

Posted by tugbrethil Z9, Phoenix, AZ (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 22, 09 at 11:52

I have had bad experience with T. clusiana in the past, but I am unsure whether it was a case of bad care on my part, bad bulbs to begin with, or if it's just a bad species for my climate!
I planted them in October, 4" deep, in sandy clay-loam, with an eastern exposure. some of the bulbs grew a few grassy leaves, but about 2/3 didn't come up at all. None bloomed, and none survived the following summer.
I have found out that my summer care, at least, was wrong, since I couldn't keep the area dry during the dormant season. I have my suspicions about the bulbs, since they were about pea sized, although I've heard that they normally have small bulbs. I have my suspicions about the species, since I haven't found any info about anyone growing them in any climate warmer than zone 8.
My main questions are: What size is a "blooming size" bulb for this species? And has anyone grown them in zone 9 or warmer? I'd also like similar info on T saxatilis and T. sylvestris.
I hope some of you Southern bulb gurus can help me.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Low chill species tulips?

I think you had poor quality bulbs. I have had clusiana cynthia in my garden for a number of years. I do replant / replenish them because I also grow caladiums there in the summer. I have the species tulips on the outside edge of a circle bed. But still, I dig around and plant other things there and grow lush caladiums in deep shade all summer long.

Still, mine return and are lovely. The bulbs are much larger than pea sized. I'm mooting around for something common as a shape. Everything I can think of (acron in it's pod from a live oak, wooden bead etc is variable.

How about this: Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. Overlap the thumb so the thumb joint and the top joint of the fore finger are touching. That's the approximate size of the bulbs I planted.

Order from a reputable online vendor. Colorblends gives the bulb size for Lady Jane (about the same size and cynthia) as 6-7cm for Clus. Tubergen's Gem as 5-6cm these are the smallest sizes they sell.

I tried my first species tulips from a big box store in a little plastic bag. They were pea sized and never grew.

Here is a link that might be useful: species tulips

RE: Low chill species tulips?

So, about the size of a standard marble? Mine were from Davids & Royston, via a retail nursery, about 15 years ago. I noticed that the nursery carried a different brand of bulbs the following year!
Your climate is still a little chillier than mine, but it's good to hear that they're doing so well for you!
Thanks! : ])

RE: Low chill species tulips?

Yes! a plain old marble, only long like a football...sort of.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Bulbs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here