Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tulip Dreams Quashed



Normally our garden blogs are all about beautiful photos and our gardening triumphs. Well here's a little something to dispel the myth that all is success in the garden. Last fall I thought I'd try my hand at a little spring tulip display. Knowing that they don't survive and thrive down here in the south I thought I'd pot up two different but complimentary kinds of tulips. They spent their requisite 6 weeks (actually a little more) in the fridge away from fruit and veggies while in the bulb stage. After potting up, the earlier variety started to grow right away. A photo of their blooms can be found in this blog. The mid-season variety starting growing about a week and a half later. But this is as far as they got until succumbing for some strange reason. Does anyone have any idea of what happened? As you can see from this photo, the other variety of tulips are still strong and healthy. Sorry I don't have the name of these guys as I inadvertently threw away the tags.

11 comments:

  1. What a shame! Looks like a virus to me, the bulbs could have been infected when you got them, or picked up something from an insect later. I love tulips but gave up trying to grow them years ago, sadly.

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  2. Oh my...how disappointing and after waiting for two months! I planted about 60 of them this pat fall...but expect they will be annuals here! gail

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  3. That is disheartening, Jean. I don't know what caused it...I supposed there are many possibilities. Right now, squirrels seem to be my tulips biggest enemy. I have a few in pots, and each day, a few are gone, with pieces scattered all around. So far, the ones in the ground haven't been bothered. Last year, when they actually got to the flower stage, the squirrels chewed off the flowers!

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  4. Ruth - I wouldn't be surprised if it was a virus since they started to grow and then just withered out. The bugs have started up in earnest here, so it wouldn't surprise me.

    Gail - wow, you planted 60 of them as annuals? You've got more garden grit than I do!

    Jan - those dang squirrels. They drive me crazy but I guess I should be thankful they're not like yours!

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  5. I haven't had the best of luck with tulips. Probably because I buy them from Home Depot or somewhere local at the last minute. Instead of ordering the good ones I know I should. So I'm no help! Sorry!
    Brenda

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  6. Jean, I bought 100 white tulips to plant in a friend's memory. 90 were planted in her garden and 10 in mine. The ones in her garden did splendidly, while mine pretty much look like yours. I'm still perplexed!

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  7. Hi again, Jean :-)

    Not sure if I can help either as I am new to growing tulips. I don't know if a virus is responsible so a tricky one to decide what to do. Thank-you for sharing this photo as its always valuable to share the probs as well as the pretty parts of gardening. Have a good day :-D

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  8. My tulips are up and blooming--but they forgot to grow stems! They have full-sized blossoms on these little short stems--it's the strangest thing. I don't know what type they are--I bought what Home Depot had leftover right after Christmas. I don't care if they're annuals in this climate--I love tulips!

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  9. The same thing happened to me several years ago with some Angelic tulips. I seem to remember trying to find out the problem and discovered that only the early blooming tulips do well this far south. It sometimes gets too hot, too fast for the mid and late blooming ones to do well here. My sister plants early blooming ones, and they do fantastic. After mine did so poorly, I just decided not to do tulips.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  10. Tulips are fussy plants, and there could be a number of reasons this happened. For example, tulips do not like to be planted where other tulips have grown recently, as they quickly deplete the soil of nutrients. Also, if any diseases were in the soil, tulips are susceptible. It could have been tulip fire disease. Did you notice any small brown spots?

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