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Article: Spring Bulb Blooms May Be Finished but the Gardening Isn't: Handy!

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Forum: Article: Spring Bulb Blooms May Be Finished but the Gardening Isn'tReplies: 9, Views: 33
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art_n_garden
Colorado Springs, CO
(Zone 6a)

April 25, 2009
3:43 PM

Post #6461366

Thanks for the great reference Sally. I always get nervous around this time about what to do with my bulbs and antsy to make the foliage go away...but I will bookmark this!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 25, 2009
5:49 PM

Post #6461810

You're quite welcome! It seemed like these kind of questions always come up because it's hard to remember year to year what you did.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 28, 2009
2:24 AM

Post #6472934

Thanks, I'm new to bulbs and you answered the questions I was wondering about!
marymyers
Poulsbo, WA
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2009
5:44 AM

Post #6473443

Dear Sallyg,

Can you dig the tulups right after blooming and store them with the green parts, letting the greens die back in storage ? Would the bulbs be good to replant in the fall, or do they need to die back while in the ground. Thank you. Mary

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2009
2:05 PM

Post #6474375

You're quite welcome KyWoods

Hi Mary,
If you dig the tulip bulbs and let them dry in storage, you'd be shortening the leaf growing cycle. Therefore , that is said to diminish the energy going back into the bulb.
Theoretically, you could dig bulbs carefully and pot them like a live plant, and they would continue to live their natural cycle which would mean they'd die back in several weeks. ( I have done it with daffodils but those are much more reliable for rebloom anyway)
Most tulips require special growing to make those bulbs that they sell you, and then the bulb is not at it's peak anymore. It's really not a bulb that will reliably come back every year for the typical homeowner, in the way that daffodils ,crocus, etc, do. I once heard an expert say that tulips want drought in summer but are often placed in well-watered flower beds, which contributes to the problem.

If you love tulips but don't like the old foliage, your best bet would be to look for those hybrids that have a good reputation for coming back, make sure they'll get full sun when they put up leaves, and to give them the best care you can when planting them. Then dig them as you wish and hope for the best!
Good luck,
Sally
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2009
2:54 AM

Post #6477946

Are we still supposed to water them if there's no rain for a while?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2009
6:46 AM

Post #6478440

I find one article that says to keep watering " if rains aren't adequate" (Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening )but most that I am reading don't address the question. Can you dig down a bit near the bulbs and see if it's really dry down below? I'd think if it's been really dry, then some water is a good idea, but not too much and especially not later as the foliage dies down.
marymyers
Poulsbo, WA
(Zone 8b)

April 29, 2009
5:22 PM

Post #6480030

Thank you Sallyg,
I got a wonderful display of tulups at Costco for under twenty dollars. This sounds awful, but I may just pull up the the tulups when they are spent and plant a new batch next fall. You are right, they always look the very best the first year after planting.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2009
9:27 PM

Post #6481120

Ha, Mary, it takes true grit to pull up something that has even a ghost of a chance. I noticed today a patch of tulips I moved a couple years ago--looks like there's not a single bloom. I really should pull off all the leaves now (the bulbs are buried between some variegated Liriope) and try to get rid of them.
Landscapers in commercial displays are constantly pulling things just past peak and putting in something new. Let's not feel guilty!
marymyers
Poulsbo, WA
(Zone 8b)

April 29, 2009
11:12 PM

Post #6481542

Sallyg...I really like you!!

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Other Article: Spring Bulb Blooms May Be Finished but the Gardening Isn't Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Thanks for the Tips! Potagere 6 Apr 29, 2009 6:33 AM
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