Tulips in Central Oklahoma

My tulips have just about finished blooming and petals are hitting the ground. Can I expect a second bloom or are they finished for the year? If finished, should I prune the stem and where?
Thanks, SRR
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They are done for the year, and if your climate is too hot and humid, they are done forever. (They need a prolonged cold period in winter to be perennial). You should let the foliage die down naturally - this is how the bulb makes food for next year. If you cut them down too quickly, you will guarantee that they will not return next year, or will only send up a few straggly leaves. Ask experienced gardeners in your area if tulips come back reliably. If not, you might as well rip them out of the ground, so that you can plant something else in the same spot for summer.

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No further blooms this year. For now, just pinch off the flower heads. Leave all that is green till it starts to wither. They can then be dug up, dried off and replanted in October. Tulips are not as reliable as daffodils for blooming in following seasons. Species tulips behave better. Many gardeners purchase new bulbs each year. Best Wishes.

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On 10 Apr 2004 19:39:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (SRR) wrote:

cut the naked stem off low where it emerges from the rosette of leaves. Don't cut the leaves off as they will feed the bulb, and form next year's flower this year, before they go dormant.
There are many different kinds of tulips, some bloom very early, some bloom late.. into June at times. There are species tulips that have kind of maroon stripes on green leaves. The species tulips grow along and make more bulbs and as long as they are happy with their growing conditions, stay pretty nice year after year. Emperor tulips do pretty well year after year too, although they may not be quite as large after that first year, they still don't get horribly scraggly usually.
Most other large tulips are at their best the first year after you plant them as they have been grown year after year in a manner to increase the size of the bulbs, and the flower is formed and in the bulb ready to grow to its best as long as they are planted on time etc. After that, they are going to decline in quality because the bulbs will want to split and make more, smaller bulbs. Planting the bulbs deep, like 6" is said to discourage splitting, or at least slow it, but even if they do split, they are still pretty, just not as large until the small ones grow on.
In any case, if you cut off the spent flower stalk, that will prevent the plant from trying to set seed, so they will put whatever nutrients they collect into the bulb, and increase the chance that next year's flowers will be the best they can be under those circumstances.
Personally, I would rather buy a bunch of daffodils/narcissus as they will naturalize and increase year after year, and the critters leave them alone because they're toxic. If I plant anymore tulips it will be species or emperors. Although, I did like beauty of appledorn or appledoorn.. can't spell. It was fragrant as well as pretty.
Janice
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