Tulip and Daffodil Care Tips

It's always exciting to see the tulip and daffodil bulbs that you planted in the fall start to come up.Here are some tips to keep your tulips and daffodils blooming for a long time.

Tulips - unlike many of their spring-blooming bulb counterparts, aren't reliable perennial. The first year they come on strong. The second not so showy and the third, just some leaves. Keep the tulips going longer by doing the following:

  • Choose long-lasting species. Bulbs that are described as species or botanical tulips. These come back year after year. Look in the catalog descriptions that use the word perennialize.

  • Keep the tulip bulbs in good draining soil. Add some sand when you plant if needed.

  • Deadhead spent blooms so that energy can be diverted from flower and seed production back into the bulb. Leave on the foliage until they turn brown and can be with a gentle tug pull from the bulb in the ground. You can also plant annuals around the leaves to hide the maturing tulip bulb. What I do also is put fresh compost and mulch around the leaves cover them over. This saves a step and the leaves will add to the compost.

  • When you plant the bulbs in the fall, plant tulips deeper (9 inches). Shallow planting encourages bulbs to split into smaller bulbs.

Daffodils - with care they will bless your garden for years if about every three years dig up your daffodil bulbs and spilt the clump and spread the extras to another part of the garden. If you find your daffodils aren't blooming but their foliage looks great. You may have been over fertilizing. To solve the problem go easy on the fertilizer and give them a shot of a low-nitrogen organic fertilizer made for stimulating root development. Or, scratch in a little wood ash from the fireplace. Potash will help the bulb replenish itself and be back blooming it's yellow head once again.

If you see light and dark spots of extensive gray blotches on leaves and flowers you have botrytis blight. Dig up the bulbs to prevent the spread of blight to other bulbs. If blight recurs a second spring, try treating with wettable sulfur.

For more articles on Bulbs:

Have you looked at our other Flower Articles or our Flower Picture gallery?