Tulips Are Either Annual Or Perennial
Perennials are bulbs that come back year after year, generally with more flowers than before. Daffodils and crocuses are excellent examples. Annuals are bulbs that only grow for one season, which means you'll have to plant fresh bulbs every year to get the same appearance.
But, if tulips are perennials, as all the books and websites claim, why don't they come back a second or third season to reveal their beauty? So, what exactly is going on here?
Perennial, but only where it's needed
Tulips, as royal as they are, are also a little rebellious. Yes, they are technically perennials, but they aren't suitable for everyone or everywhere. A tulip will joyfully return year after year, but only if your garden is in a hamlet in Nepal's foothills, or a town on Armenia's and Northern Iran's steppes. These areas feature bitterly cold winters and scorching hot, dry summers, ideal conditions for tulips to thrive.
The soil and engineering of the Netherlands
But...why do all the greatest tulips come from Holland, if these regions are so fantastic for tulips? This is where engineering and creativity come into play. We Dutch tulip producers have two things going for us: wonderful sandy soil and a century-old heritage of being able to regulate and manipulate water.
We can grow bulbs that come back year after year thanks to this mix of soil and know-how
The second element of this tulip scam is a little trickier: you want your original bulb to multiply each season if you want to sell fresh bulbs every year.
To convince tulip bulbs to do all of that for us, we subject them to a complicated series of heat and humidity treatments before planting them in the autumn, attempting to imitate the tulip's original environment as closely as possible, even though it's over 5000 miles away. We give the bulbs the impression that they have experienced a hot, dry summer and a frigid winter. All of this necessitates the use of costly temperature control equipment as well as much knowledge and expertise.
Aid the return of your tulips the next season
If you don't reside in Eastern Persia or Himchal Pradesh, the best option is to purchase fresh bulbs every year. That way, you'll have a spring full of your favorite tulips' vibrant hues and velvety flowers.
You can, however, do a few things to prod some of your tulips out of their yearly funk and give them an opportunity to display their perennial strength:
- The first consideration is the tulip variety. DutchGrown offers tulips that are designed to be naturalized or perennialized. Botanical tulips and their hybridized varieties are the best breeds to use since they haven't been too crossbred.
- Tulips should always be planted in a well-drained environment. Because the bulbs will succumb to fungus, illness, and decay faster if the soil is too damp, make sure water can drain away quickly.
- Plant your tulips deep, around 8 inches, to expose them to the brutal winter cold they need to properly get going in April.
- Water your tulips shortly after planting to encourage early development and help them create a strong and healthy root system.
- Cutting off the blossom heads at the appropriate time is critical if you want your bulbs to achieve maximum power for their second (or even third) cycle. But don't get rid of the greenery! Allow it to naturally decay and wilt. As a result, the stored energy in the leaves will gradually 'flow back' into the bulb, assisting it in packing a punch next spring.
- Last but not least, nourish your hesitant perennials' soil in the autumn and spring. DutchGrown bulbs have enough of food and energy to put on a fantastic display in their first season, so they won't need fertilization. However, if you want a second act, you'll need a low-nitrogen fertilizer, preferably a bulb fertilizer. You may apply a high-nitrogen, fast-release fertilizer in the spring, when the first shoots appear, to give your returning favorites the last push they need to grow well, even while they are so far away from 'home.'
Obtain excellent perennializers
The Darwin Hybrids in red, orange, yellow, apricot, pink, and two-tone hues are a fantastic example of returning tulips, with hybrids that are actually greater 'perennializers' than their original species. Emperor Tulips, Triumph Tulips, and Miniature Tulips are among the tulips that will benefit from your perennializing assistance. Buy now and plant in the autumn for the finest flowers next spring (and the spring after that, and the spring after that...)!