Tulips are one of the most popular and colorful of all spring flowers. Although they are easy to grow, purchasing the bulbs can be expensive. For many gardeners, the colors and shapes of tulips in a spring garden make it stand out.
Although technically tulips are considered perennial, they act more as annuals, as they mostly only last for a year and only bloom once in that year.
Gardeners tend not to get repeat blooms season by season because of climate change.
How to Plant and Grow Tulips
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With adequate planning and care, you can enjoy cheerful long-lasting tulips, as growing tulips can be very easy. They mainly require good sunlight exposure and well-drained soil because they can die if the soil is not well-drained or too wet. Gardeners tend to plant tulips upside to achieve a better result, and the maximum depth gardeners plant tulips are 6 to 8 inches deep.
Tulips thrive best at temperatures lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. But there is no such thing as tulip weather that is too cold: The maximum temperature the plant can tolerate is 29 degrees. However, if the temperature is below this, the tulip buds and blossoms will be destroyed. The entire tulip may suffer damage if it gets too cold—the right time to plant tulips is 5 to 8 weeks before the last severe frost. If your environment is warmer, the bulbs should be kept in the fridge for about 2 months before being planted mid-winter.
When planting the tulip in the garden, choose a sunny area or spot that receives 6 to 8 hours of sun daily. The soil should generally be rich and moist. If the soil is too sandy, adding compost and some bone meal per square foot is advisable.
As earlier stated, when planting the Tulip bulbs, you should ensure they are produced in the ground facing upside at approximately three times the bulb’s height. The bulbs should be spaced around in the holes. Planting can be done with a spade, but if you are planting lots of bulbs, consider using a bulb planter.
Common reasons for non-flowering Tulips
The most common reason why tulips leaf out but do not bloom is that the area needed for tulips to bloom yearly is specified. However, most tulips developed in the mountain where there are hot and cold climate changes.
Most of the time, tulips planted in our gardens may not get this specified environment, thereby having a difficult time forming a flower bud.
Below are the major reasons why Tulip flower do not flower:
- Overcrowding or lack of nutrients
This is also a significant factor that can hinder tulips from blooming. When the bulbs are not removed from the ground after flowering, more bulbs are produced, which makes them fight for nutrition due to overcrowding; hence with a lack of food, these bulbs don’t have enough strength to grow next year.
- Low-quality bulbs
The first important thing to be sure of is if the bulb of the tulip is adequately developed and matured enough to form a bud. a healthy tulip bulb is always very firm and fresh and often possesses some roots n the base. Still, if otherwise, it feels soft and mushy, it automatically means they are going bad already.
- Improper bulb storage
Before planting bulbs, they should likely store for 10 to 15 weeks in temperatures ranging from 40-45°F. And this helps to trigger growth and also for healthy blooming. When the bulbs are drugged up for flowering next year, it is essential to keep them in the dark and cold place, and if the area is not cold enough, they might not bloom in the following year.
Another problem that can occur is storing bulbs in the refrigerator; keeping bulbs along with fruits can pose a severe problem because fruits tend to release ethylene gas which generally affects the bulbs and prevent them from further blooming.
Steps to make Tulips bloom yearly
There are steps to consider to ensure tulips aren’t just a one-time thing but continuously blossom, giving the garden an excellent look.
In most cases, gardeners treat tulips as annuals, but if you decide to get your tulip to bloom year after year, these steps are essential.
Using the correct type of tulip plays a significant role in the coming back of your tulips year by year. For example, emperor tulips and queen of triumphs tulips are breeds commonly known for perennializing, and they are often not planted close to each other. When getting your bulbs, always check if they are perennial or annual.
Few things can be done to ensure your tulips blossom yearly, and their plant location plays a significant role. Always choose a sunny area and plant them very deep to increase the chances of returning next year.
Plant only old-fashioned tulips. While the newer hybrids are spectacular, they are far less likely to rebloom yearly. The old fashions tulips (heirlooms) are more forgiving when it comes to getting the right environment and are more likely to bloom annually.
- Allow the tulip leaves to die naturally.
The leaves are how the plant stores maximum energy to form the flower bulb. Since tulips have a hard enough time developing flower bulbs, they need all the power they can get. It also helps to snip off faded tulip blossoms as soon as possible. Tulips that try to produce seeds will have less energy to form next year’s flower.
Fertilize your tulip bulbs annually with a phosphorus-rich fertilizer. It will help combat less likely reasons for non-flowering tulips and will help give a little extra boost to tulips that may be on edge in terms of being able to produce flowers from year to year.
- Keep them dry
Tulip requires water, but too much water will weaken the bulbs of the tulips. If you see water forming around your tulip, something absorbent can be added, like bark chips, or dig them up and take them to a little drier place.
Nothing surpasses or makes a garden more beautiful than a garden full of vibrant tulips. The colorful blooms are sure to turn heads. The flowers, although considered perennial, sometimes behave like annuals.
If you care for them properly, these plants will reward you with gorgeous blooms yearly. We hope our post on how to make tulips come back every year has enlightened you to a certain extent and also answered the question if tulips can bloom more than once in a season.