lifting tulips

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Tara Jane, Dec 10, 2021.

  1. Tara Jane

    Tara Jane Gardener

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    hello. I have spent many an hour planting tulips this autumn but Ive been told that they should be lifted or they might not come again. can anyone offer advice on this please. can I lift them once they have flowered?
     
  2. HarryS

    HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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    Hi Tara, I think that 90% on here would leave the tulips. It is important when flowering is over to let the leaves die back, this strengthens the bulb for next season. You can still plant your summer bedding around the dying back tulips and clear the leaves at a latter date. One more point when the tulip flower has gone over and all you can see is a couple of petals, remove the seed head to stop it producing seed - more strength goes into the bulb :blue thumb:
     
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    • Logan

      Logan Total Gardener

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      Hi @Tara Jane yes I leave my tulips in, I agree with @HarryS and pick up the old flower petals that stops tulip blight, it alters the colours of the next year flowers.
       
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      • Alisa

        Alisa Super Gardener

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        It depends on the soil very much too. I have heavy clay, and slugs, even in year 1 nearly all the shoots were with pieces munched away. Year 2 - nearly nothing came back. When decided to lift after flowering and foliage died back, it proved, that bulbs rotted away, worms were munching on what's left. I don't grow tulips anymore.
        But daffodils are coming back nicely every year.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          Over the years I've planted different kinds of tulips, some still come back and flower after years, others just grow a clump of leaves after year one and others don't show at all after year one.
          I think slugs do play a part, but I've also found that the fancier the flowers the less chance of them coming back well in year two.
           
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          • Upsydaisy

            Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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            I usually lift mine...if I can find them. The time I left all of them in most didn't survive, and the ones that did were very wishy washy. Despite being down south like you are Tara, it really comes down to soil ,we live in a disused clay mining area...so not good as Alisa pointed out.

            They tend to deteriorate every year anyway so each year I buy a bag or two of bulbs.
             
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            • Logan

              Logan Total Gardener

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              I have the other way around, I can't grow daffodils, but tulips yes.
               
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              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                Tulips come mainly from central Asia, Turkey through Iraq and Iran, this means they like, even need, a hot summer bake to flower well the next year.
                In Lincolnshire, when I was growing up, bulb growers cut the flowers off once they had checked that the labels were right and had rogued out the misfits. The bulbs were then allowed to die back, lifted, cleaned (after school/summer job) and stored ready for sale.
                I leave my few tulips in the ground, the species ones in a warm raised bed and the others where they were planted (they do wander a bit though) these produce some flowers most years, but nothing like the size of the first year.
                 
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                • Tara Jane

                  Tara Jane Gardener

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                  Thank you Harry, thats super helpful!
                   
                • Tara Jane

                  Tara Jane Gardener

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                  thank you. I will.
                   
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                  • Tara Jane

                    Tara Jane Gardener

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                    touch wood, we don't get too pestered by slugs. we have very stoney chalky ground but I ordered in 5 ton of soil to make new boarders because the ground was so bad so its pretty nice.
                     
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                    • Tara Jane

                      Tara Jane Gardener

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                      I think I might have gone a but fancy!!
                       
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                      • Tara Jane

                        Tara Jane Gardener

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                        thats very interesting. they used to grow tulips around here too and the trained stopped at the farm where they loaded them in.maybe ill hook them out!
                         
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                        • Loofah

                          Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                          New tulips I put into pots for a good display, when that's over I plant the bulbs somewhere in the garden to die back and leave them to it. Some good years, some not
                           
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