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Now is the Time to Plan for Spring Color—Tulip Education:

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Purchase your new tulip bulbs soon, plant them in the fall, and enjoy a great display of color in the spring.

You may have planted tulips bulbs last year and had great blooms this spring... and are expecting the same blooms next year. However, you were disappointed to only get a few blooms and a splattering of plant foliage from those same tulip bulbs. We tend to think, “what did we do?” and perhaps blame it on the squirrels and chipmunks. But the truth is, most tulips are not strong perennializers and don't bloom well the second year after planting.

So why is this? The tulip bulbs we purchase are groomed to bloom. Almost all tulips are raised in the sandy Dutch soil of the Netherlands. As soon as they bloom in the spring, the flowers are cut off to keep from drawing too much energy from the bulbs. The foliage is allowed to grow for another six weeks in the perfect cool Dutch weather, then after going dormant in early summer, the bulbs are pulled and stored in a climate-controlled warehouse to mimic a long, hot, bone dry summer of Central Asia—which is a tulip's native home. Those bulbs are shipped to the retail stores, where we purchase and then plant them in our landscape beds.

All of this care yields a high percentage bulb. These bulbs can’t get any larger, but they can split and get smaller. Under less than perfect garden conditions, and in Ohio most of our soil is not sandy or loamy, those split bulbs won’t get big enough to produce flowers the following season. It can take many years for them to grow bigger and usually they rot in our heavy moist soils.

There are a couple varieties of tulips that will bloom for more than one year. The best known are the Darwin Hybrids. They won’t keep going indefinitely, but it’s possible to get two or three years of color displays from them.

Tulips are still a great spring flower plant and one that brightens our days after a long dull winter. We just have to change our mind set and expectations for continued years of blooms. Think of them more as an annual, digging them up each spring and putting in new come the fall. The color and flower displays come spring are worth it.

If you need help adding bulbs to your landscape, please call the office, and we can arrange to get your beds filled with vibrant spring color next year.

Article source and for more information on tulips:

If you'd like to discuss seasonal color in more detail for your property, don't hesitate to give us a call!



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