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Hi, I'm having such trouble growing tulips. Used to grow them OK years ago but this last couple of years they have come up really tatty. Eaten and beset by green fly. I made sure to plant them late to avoid tulip fire (whatever that is). Tried several different ones with the same result. Any ideas?



Are you planting them deeply enough, 2 - 3 times the depth of the bulb, and letting the leaves die back naturally whilst giving them a feed of half strength tomorite or something similar once a week?

4 Apr, 2012


Snails absolutely adore newly emerging Tulip leaves, which is why they often fail, as the leaves are demolished as they come through. Hard to stop though. Aphids are another problem, all you can do about them is spray as soon as you see them.

4 Apr, 2012


I lift my tulips after the foliage has died down and put in spare plastic pots with spent compost. I then leave them in a sheltered area of the garden over autumn/winter.

Before planting out again I allow the leaves to grow up to about 3-4 inches. This gives them a chance to establish away from the snails etc and being in pots helps with drainage so I don't lose too many to rot etc.

This always seems to provide a good show with healthy blooms.

You might also want to try companion planting them with allium - As I understand it this deters aphids.

4 Apr, 2012


Lifting the Tulips after flowering is a good idea with the big hybrids types. Sadly it does nothing to stop the snails eating them as they come through the soil. I have just been down the garden (in the snow) and noticed that even in this cold weather there are some well chewed leaves on some T. greigii hybrids.

4 Apr, 2012


Interesting so far as I know we have never had a problem with snails eating tulips, perhaps they don't like the small species ones?

4 Apr, 2012


Thanks so much folks - some good food for thought here. Just one clarification - in each case the said tulips were newly purchased ones - the previous years were always too badly blighted. I think Moon grower's comment about making sure they are planted deep enough is something to think about.

4 Apr, 2012


Andip - I love your ideas which seem original. Will definitely be trying this if I can salvage the bulbs this year.

4 Apr, 2012

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