New to tulips - didn't realize they were not perrenial!

I was surprised to learn that tulip bulbs split apart and form small bulbs that usually don't flower the following year. I was planning on planting a bed of tulips this fall, but I'm not sure now knowing that I will have to replant them every year.
I know that there are perennial tulips, which are gigantic 5-6" bulbs that don't split for several years, but I really wanted some more unique colors that aren't available as perennial tulips.
Are there any techniques for growing standard tulip bulbs as perennials?
It also begs the questions - how are tulip bulbs produced for sale in the first place? :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My tulips bloom every year. I plant 95% species tulips. I am no tulip expert but I don't think your representation is quite true. But many fancy hybrid tulips weaken rather than strengthen with each year. Some of the fancy hybrids perennialize instantly, others fade out & look yes impressive year by year, & when shopping for varieties you have to choose carefully if you want them to perennialize. From memory, but I think I remember this right, if you go for the Darwin hybrids, you'll have big beauties that perennialize with great ease. Or go my route & stick to species tulips. Some of them are just as showy as the million hybrids.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That has not been my experience. I put in a bed of tulips 12 years ago in my backyard, and they pop up every year. I don't do *anything* to them. I don't dig them up and separate them, I don't take them inside, etc. They grow like crazy, and do fine every year. They seem to be thicker now than when I first put them in, but I haven't counted them.
The only thing that hurts them are the deer, who have eaten them back three years in a row, now.
billo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tulips are perennials to at least zone 5, maybe colder. You can leave them in the ground though most people plant new ones every year. They will flower every year as long as you let the foliage die off naturally.
Toad
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

By observation I've found that tulips that are eaten off one year will send up vegetative growth the second year with fewer flowers. If they are eaten off the second year, most don't appear the third year, but the ones that do survive the deer attack and send up vegetative growth will flower the following year if left unmolested.
The deer seem to browse the buds and flower more than the leaves, which might account for survival after a couple years of browsing.
As an aside, deer also browse lilies and seem to prefer the scented trumpet and orientals over the asiatics. They don't browse the foliage but select the flowers and buds. I think the scent from the flowers of both tulips and lilies is what attracts them.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmmm... Maybe it isn't deer then -- I just assumed so, since I have caught the deer eating back the English ivy and munching on my vegetable garden. It's a hell of a note. I live on a 1/3 acre lot, and have seen six deer shoulder to shoulder in my back yard munching away.
Anyway, my tulips were eaten down to about 1 inch above the ground. One small tulip had been pulled from the gound, and the bulb was laying on the grass. Whatever this is, it isn't just eating the flowers and buds.
billo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

trumpet
and
It's definitely deer, billo, because there were tracks in the beds after the flowers and buds disappear. The deer in my area do pick off the buds and blossoms from the tulips although some of the leaves also disappear.
What they brows in the yard varies with the season. In the winter and early spring before any green material is available, they browse the hydrangeas, the azaleas, apple trees, rain trees, and maples. They didn't bother the dogwoods, crape myrtles, redbuds, forsythia or peaches, although I've read a few of those are on their diet list. I suppose it depends upon how hungry they are. In the spring and early summer they prefer the buds and blossoms of tulips, lilies, tall phlox, and roses just as they're starting to bloom. I still think it's the aroma that attracts them because they seem to go after the heavily scented phlox varieties more readily than the lesser scented ones. And, of course, garden items such as peas, beans, beets, and lettuce are high on the candy list.
I've once had them eat caladium plants that I planted in a shaded area away from the house. I've read that they along with dieffenbachia contain calcium oxate crystals packaged in raphides, which is supposed to cause severe irritation to the mouth and throat and which may also be an irritant to the G.I. tract. I certainly hope those miserable beasts developed a bad case of indigestion after destroying $50.00 worth of bulbs to say nothing of the time and effort I put in making the bed.
BTW, I'm enjoying your on-going RoundUp saga. Much of the rebuttal time is spent in attacking the messenger and proving something is true by saying it's true. You're doing well. :)
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, no. I wasn't doubting that dear ate your plants. I was saying that since my tulips were eaten down to the nubs maybe something else was guilty in *my* garden. I'm not doubting you -- I just didn't catch any culprits in the act wrt my tulips.

The bastards. We've given up on vegetable gardening until we move to a place where I can shoot the damn things. We've been eaten down to nothing three years in a row. For this particular problem, my favorite gardening tool will be a Remington Model 700 bolt-action .30-06.

Thanks! But be careful of referring to it, else the thread metastasize.
billo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, I'm aware of that because I was the object of an attack by the an individual who referred me by using every word in "The Book of Slang." I also asked for credentials but received none. Enuf said! :)
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Deer Suck
On 19 Aug 2003 11:30:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@radix.net (Bill Oliver) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Actually they are quit tasty when properly treated afield and by the processor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Marley1372) wrote:

They do just fine here in Zone 3. No replanting necessary, if they're in decent soil to start with.
Jan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 14:04:10 -0400, Pelvis Popcan

Don't believe everything you hear. Learn to look up info on this here machine.
I planted tulips 14 yrs. ago and they come back every year. zone 7
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You may have planted Darwin tulips. Many tulips do not reliably come back, and they certainly don't in the south. Tulips also do not make bulbils and multiply. They are not reliably perennial.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

Tulips are true perennials, but behave more like annuals in the USA.
I read about it in a book that I don't have with me right now so I can't reference it, but I did a google search and found a quite a few articles. Here's two:
http://www.bulb.com/tulips/tulipfavs.asp
http://www.dutchgardens.com/gardening/content.asp?copy_idR97
My neighbors planted tulips around their trees and in a bed in their front yard. They grew beautifully last year. But this year, mostly just small pieces of foliage grew, and only a few flowers on plants that were much smaller than the growth from last year. After I read about the perennial nature of tulips in the US, to me this seems to corroborate the fact that the bulbs must have split and the small daughter bulbs only put up a leaf or two of foliage each.
I suppose if I try watering and fertilizing only in the spring when they first start growing then again in the fall, and leaving them dry for the summer, they may regrow OK.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The main part of this top URL you posted is this:
"Tulips are indeed true perennials," explains Frans Roozen, technical director of the International Flower Bulb Center in Hillegom, the Netherlands. "Getting them to bloom in your garden year after year is no problem, if your garden happens to be located in the foothills of the Himalayas, or the steppes of eastern Turkey."
opined:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 14:04:10 -0400, Pelvis Popcan

My experience has been that while some tulips re-bloom for a year or possibly 2, they mostly disappear. Not at all like daffodils, which reliably multiply in place. Every year, I have *leaves* coming up, usually only 1 or 2, but not blooms. I never paid attention to whether they were advertised as perennial or not, and just chose from the pretty pictures. :-) Zone 7b.

Very good question. Hope someone knows the answer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I actually caught the answer in the article I linked. The Dutch do it with special machines in bulb sheds.
"Roozen explains that Holland's sandy soil, and the proven ability of the Dutch to perform miracles of hydraulic engineering (meaning they can get water to do just about anything they want), actually offer some of the most excellent growing conditions for tulip bulbs on the planet. To get the bulbs to not only return but to multiply (sort of a prerequisite for supporting an ongoing industry) is a bit more problematic.
'Professional Dutch growers subject their plant stock to an ingenious series of heat and humidity treatments each summer before planting,' explains Roozen. Developed over the past 400 years, this manipulation of temperature and humidity levels allows growers today to perfectly replicate the tulip's native habitat.
By the time the bulbs are tucked into the sandy Dutch soil for their winter's sleep (and Mother Nature's 'cold treatment') the bulbs have been fooled into thinking they've been through another summer drought in the Himalayas!
This is why Dutch growers always have scads of tulip bulbs to sell each fall, and the rest of us, left to our own climactic devices, have dwindling stocks.
'Don't try this at home,' warns Roozen, 'the process for temperature- treating bulbs is quite tricky, requiring years of experience and expensive climate control systems such as the ones you see in Dutch bulb sheds.'"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep, they're actually a type of lily. If their petals opened all the way, they'd look like lilies. In fact, Dutch Gardens actually has some tulips that *do* in fact open way up and look like lilies:
http://www.dutchgardens.com/sell.asp?ProdGroupID 591
...which they say behaves like a perennial in the USA.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just reread this post and realized that I live in pretty much ideal tulip conditions which is why all of Kamloops plants tulips in theur beds and forget about them. They come back every year around here. Probably most of northern US and all of Canada have the right conditions.
--
Jayel
in Zone 5a
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.