Larry and I are wondering how everyone is doing with another day of below zero weather. Sounds like it will warm up which will be great. Also wondering about the greenhouses in Southern United states with this really cold temperature we are having. I know that the greenhouses in Texas at this time of year are starting to get set up to sell plants. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them what it must be like. Hope all is ok????
Our tulips will be a few weeks yet from coming up, but here is the care of them when they do and also so interesting facts about tulips. Spring will come I promise.
HOW TO PLANT, GROW, AND CARE FOR TULIPS By Catherine Boeckmann
Long live the tulip! This brightly colored jewel brightens our days in early spring. We truly look forward to seeing those blue-green leaves start to emerge as the Earth awakens from its winter sleep! Here are our tips on how to plant and care for tulips.
Tulips normally begin emerging from the ground in late winter or early spring. If mild winter weather causes premature growth, the danger is not as great as it may seem. Tulips (and daffodils) have braved these cold temperatures before and are quite tolerant. If winter temperatures return, it may delay growth. The snow is helpful, discouraging additional growth and protecting the foliage from extreme cold.
Plant in the Fall for Spring Blooms
Tulip bulbs are planted in the autumn before the ground freezes. By planting varieties with different bloom times, you can have tulips blooming from early to late spring. Some types are good for forcing into bloom indoors and most are excellent for use as cut flowers, too.
Tulip flowers are usually cup-shaped with three petals and three sepals. There’s a tulip for every setting, from small “species” tulips in naturalized woodland areas to larger tulips that fit formal garden plantings from beds to borders. The upright flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups, bowls, and goblets to more complex forms. Height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet. One tulip grows on each stem, with two to six broad leaves per plant.
ARE TULIPS ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL BULBS?
Although tulips are a perennial from a botanical perspective, many centuries of hybridizing means that the bulb’s ability to come back year after year has weakened. Therefore, many gardeners treat them as annuals, planting new bulbs every autumn. The North American climate and soil can’t replicate the ancient Anatolian and southern Russian conditions of their birth. Gardeners in the western mountain region of the U.S. come closest to this climate, and may have more success perennializing their tulips.
HOW TO GROW TULIPS
If it rains weekly, do not water. However, if there is a dry spell and it does not rain, you should water the bulbs weekly until the ground freezes.
Rainy summers, irrigation systems, and wet soil are death to tulips. Never deliberately water a bulb bed unless in a drought. Wet soil leads to fungus and disease and can rot bulbs. Add shredded pine bark, sand, or any other rough material to the soil to foster swift drainage.
Apply compost annually to provide nutrients needed for future blooms.
In the spring, when leaves emerge, feed your tulip the same bulb food or bone meal which you used at planting time. Water well.
Deadhead tulips as soon as they go by, but do not remove the leaves!
Allow the leaves to remain on the plants for about 6 weeks after flowering. The tulips need their foliage to gather energy for next year’s blooms! After the foliage turns yellow and dies back, it can be pruned off.
Large varieties may need replanting every few years; small types usually multiply and spread on their own.
Gray mold,Slugs,Snails,Aphids,Nematodes,,Bulb rot,Squirrels, rabbits, mice, and voles are especially fond of tulip bulbs.
Tulip flowers may be single, double, ruffled, fringed, or lily-shaped, depending on the variety.
Wild—or “Species”—tulips are small in size, ranging in height from 3 to 8 inches. They are tougher than hybrids. They also bloom in the South and look best when planted as a carpet of color. One of our favorites is ‘Lilac Wonder’.
Triumph hybrids are the classic single, cup-shape tulip that make up the largest grouping of tulip types. Top varieties:
‘Cracker tulip’ is a midspring bloomer with purple, pink, and lilac petals.
‘Ile de France’ is a midseason bloomer, with its intensely red blooms on stems to 20 inches tall.
‘Calgary’ is a midspring bloomer with snowy-white petals and blue-green foliage.
Though tulips tend be planted as annuals, the Darwin Hybrid tulips are known to act as perennials, blooming for several years.
There are so many beautiful varieties of tulips. Explore catalogs and experiment in your garden!
WIT & WISDOM
Did you know: If you dig up a tulip bulb in midsummer, it’s not the same bulb you planted last fall. It’s her daughter. Even while the tulip is blossoming, the bulb is dividing for the next generation.
To get the longest vase life, cut tulip stems diagonally, then wrap the upper two-thirds of the flowers in a funnel of newspaper and stand them in cool water for an hour or two. Then, recut the stems and the tulips will last at least a week.
In 17th-century Holland, the new tulip was such the rage and fashion that a handful of bulbs was worth about $44,000.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/tulips
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 641-903-9365