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?
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.
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.
On 10 Apr 2004 19:39:25 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (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
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.
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