General Discussion:

Tulips planted too deep??

Messages posted to thread:

Rose06-Jun-03 08:00 PM EST 4a   
Susan07-Jun-03 11:53 AM EST 6a   
Greg09-Jun-03 12:56 PM EST 6a   
Rose10-Jun-03 08:00 AM EST 4a   
Susan10-Jun-03 08:58 AM EST 6a   
rose12-Jun-03 10:24 PM EST 4   

Subject: Tulips planted too deep??
From: Rose
Zone: 4a
Date: 06-Jun-03 08:00 PM EST

I planted Queen of the Nile tulips a couple of years ago and they were wonderful. Because the soil appeared in need of something, I added a couple of inches of forest mulch in the fall and last spring they were not as good but still put on a pretty good show. I added another couple of inches of mulch last fall and this year I only had one tulip. Did the additional topping create a situation where the tulips are actually too deep? I don't know much about these tulips and wonder if they have a short life.

Should I dig them up and replant them in the fall. The foliage (what there is) is dying down. Or should I just chalk this one up to experience and not repeat the same mistake again?

Subject: RE: Tulips planted too deep??
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 07-Jun-03 11:53 AM EST

Do you mean Queen of the Night 'black' tulips? Queen of the Nile usually refers to Agapanthus which would not be hardy for you. If you mean Queen of the Night tulips, they should nomally br planted 6" deep. Maybe they're a bit too deep now but, on the other hand, they are Darwin hybrid tulips and, while they will usually come back for a few years and the Queen of the Night does have an ancestor that naturalizes, they may not be long lived in the garden. It is summer heat that they don't like if it means the soil temperature gets too high. That's why they need to be planted deep if you want them to come back. Mulching can help keep the soil cool and improve their survival rate. Unless you've really buried them very deep in mulch, I expect they've just died out and you should plant more this fall, planting them 6-7" deep.

Subject: RE: Tulips planted too deep??
From: Greg
Zone: 6a
Date: 09-Jun-03 12:56 PM EST

You can plant tulips very deep. I've planted them 8" or more deep and they seem to do fine.

Subject: RE: Tulips planted too deep??
From: Rose
Zone: 4a
Date: 10-Jun-03 08:00 AM EST

Susan--They ae the "black" tulips so I would think they are Queen of the Night. Temperature is not a problem in our zone and I do have them mulched. As I looked around my other gardens, I noticed that a few others have the same fate. I only have small leaves and they are already starting to die down. I have tulips in three different gardens and I treated them all the same way. The two areas where they are not doing well are close to the water on Lake Superior and wonder if the windy conditions of the lake have anything to do with my problem. The third garden which is away from the water has been doing well. I gather from your previous note that it's not going to get better next year and that I should give up on these two front gardens as far as tulips are concerned.

Subject: RE: Tulips planted too deep??
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 10-Jun-03 08:58 AM EST

If you got small leaves but no flowers, what might have happened is the 'mother' bulb has died but 'baby' offsets formed but they're too small yet to bloom. If I were you, I wouldn't give up on those beds yet. In a year or two the 'baby' bulbs should be big enough to bloom so, if you don't dig them out, you may have a nice surprise in a year or two. What you could do, is plant those beds with tulips that naturalize well. Try Kaufmanniana Tulips - Concerto (creamy white) and/or Fosteriana Tulips - White Emperor (paler creamy white) - both these tulips are hardy in your zone and come in other colors - but those are my favorites. They are quite early and should return every year. For an extrordinaly beautiful mid-late tulip, try Angelique - double pale pink - looks like a peony! I have it planted with the White Emperors and Queen of the Night. Their bloom times overlap and they are a knock-out together. I didn't know if Angelique would come back for me but it has and seems to have multiplied too. I have some of both it and Queen of the Night planted so they bloom up through peony foliage. The Angelique makes it look like the peonies are in bloom in May and Queen of the Night looks great with the darkish peony foliage. The peonies hide the dying tulip foliage nicely. So, don't give up on tulips in those beds, experiment a bit! If you are near the lake, hopefully your soil won't get too hot in the summer so you should have good luck with tulips so keep trying...

Subject: RE: Tulips planted too deep??
From: rose
Zone: 4
Date: 12-Jun-03 10:24 PM EST

Thanks so much Susan for taking the time and for giving me such wonderful advice. I've printed the information and I will have faith in my Queens and will definitely look for the ones you suggested in the fall.


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