Why don't my tulips last?

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why is it that the tulips we plant only last for two years .We take good care of them but there must be something else we are doing wrong.

  5 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 30, 2017
    The bulbs are most likely being eater by Voles
  • Pam McAlpin Bird Pam McAlpin Bird on Nov 30, 2017
    Unfortunately some tulips are bred to only bloom a couple years. We have had good luck with tulips from Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Also, it depends where you live. If it doesn't get cold enough where you live (the south) you will have to dig them up and put them in a paper bag with sawdust in your fridge or freezer for a couple months and replant in the spring. Sometimes, you still have to dig them up and divide them because they may be putting all their energy into making more bulbs instead of flowering. Hope this helps.
  • Elaine Elaine on Nov 30, 2017
    That is very, very odd! You say “you take good care of them” so I assume you know enough to let the foliage die down on its own in late Spring, right?

    If you don’t, I’ll repeat the old zgardening rule ... after the blooms drop off, you can cut down the stem (that held the blossom) BUT don’t cut back any of the yellowing or brown droopy leaves. Why? Because those dying leaves are providing the tulip’s bulb with energy for the following Spring. If you planted a good number of tulips, it can look a bit messy while the plants are dying back, but definitely resist the impulse to cut those leaves off!

    Savvy gardeners plant something, such as Hostas, in front of their tulips because (in most regions), Hostas are emerging just around the time that the tulips are dying back until next Spring.

    Squirrels love tulips and if you find they are, perhaps, digging up your bulbs, you might wish to plant some daffodils amongst the tulips. They hate the taste of daffodils and might think twice before snacking on your tulip bulbs.

  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Nov 30, 2017
    its possible something is eating them. I planted tulips once about 5 years ago and only two come up now. When I dug in that area I found some that looked chewed up, and some that were rotted
  • K Arnold K Arnold on Dec 01, 2017
    Tulips like to be in dry soil while dormant. We plant them amongst perennials that require moist soil. Two years is about all you can expect to get out of the fancy varieties. Fortunately they are inexpensive for the beauty provided. Plan on replacing them every other year and enjoy the beauty.