Tulip Bulbs 'Flair' - Fall Planting
Did you know that there are over 3,000 unique varieties of tulips?! Tulips were first introduced to Europe in 1559 and over the next 100 years led to a speculative craze in which single tulip bulbs were sold for over 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.
Today tulips are loved for their beautiful, upright flowers and gorgeous array of colors.
The single, early-blooming âFlairâ is a firecracker of a tulip with deep orange-red petals edged in yellow. Like most hybrid tulips it is a short-lived bulb that may be treated as an annual.
Tulip bulbs are often short-lived, save some species and select cultivars, so they are often treated as annuals. Their bulbs can be eaten by small mammals, such as voles, and may require winter protection. Likewise, their sweet green tops are favored by deer, so tulips are not recommended for gardens that are frequented by the large four-legged pests.
Despite these problems, tulips are generally easy to grow. They prefer full to partial sun and require average to fertile soil with good drainage. After blooming, it is good to let the green tops of reliably perennial tulips to photosynthesize so they can store plenty for fuel for next springâs display. Once their leaves start to turn yellow, they can be cut to the ground. Hardiness is cultivar/species dependent, but all require a chilling period to bloom.
Tulips offer spring color to containers or sunny gardens. Be sure to consider height and bloom time when designing with them as these vary greatly from cultivar to cultivar. It is also wise to plant extra for cutting as they make superb long-lasting cut flowers.
Dig beds at least a shovel's depth
Work a small amount of bulb food or all-purpose flower fertilizer into the bottom of the bed
Refrigerate tulip bulbs a few weeks before planting
Plant true bulbs 2-3 times as deep as they are in diameter - large bulbs deeper than small bulbs
Plant corms and tubers shallow, at the same level as the soil surface
Cover planting area with mulch 1 - 3 inches thick to prevent soil crusting in sun and rain
Fast-growing herbaceous plants require more attention to watering than woody plants
When possible, water in the morning to avoid promoting diseases from night watering
Water slowly and deeply when plants begin to wilt and do not perk up at night
Watering twice, a few minutes apart, helps water soak in deeper
Soaker hoses and trickle or "drip" irrigation are very efficient and water-conservative
Never overwater, or you may cause root problems
Mulches help reduce water evaporation in hot or dry weather
In dry climates, form a soil "ring" around plants to hold water longer
Tall or leggy plants may be cut or pinched back to stimulate strong new growth
Cut or pinch stems of flowering or foliage plants just above leaves or old leaf joints
Thin excess growth so remaining growth will be more vigorous
"Deadhead" - remove faded flowers or seedheads to stimulate new flowering growth
Remove dead, faded, or diseased foliage as needed
Remove some foliage during transplanting to reduce stress on new roots
Clean up plants at the end of the season to reduce pest or disease buildup and to keep the area neat
Avoid putting diseased plant parts in the compost, or risk spreading diseases later
True bulbs usually form small new bulbs at the base of the old ones, and can be dug and separated when they are dormant. Digging and dividing bulbs while in bloom or shortly afterward can cause them to skip a year or more before flowering again.
Dig and divide corms, rhizomes, and tubers when plants are not actively growing or flowering
Replant as soon as possible into well-drained garden soil, or store in cool, dry places until the appropriate season
specialty (labeled for your specific plant type) or a generic N-P-K (nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium)
Fertilize early in the plant's growing cycle - spring for summer plants, fall for winter plants
For leafy plants, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content (first number)
For flowering or fruiting plants, use a fertilizer higher in phosphorous content (middle number)
If using a water soluble fertilizer:
Mix as directed on container according to directions
Wet the leaves and drench soil
If using a granulated fertilizer:
Scatter a small amount of all-purpose fertilizer lightly under plants from the stem to beyond the outer spread of branches or foliage
Water slowly and deeply
NOTE: Never over fertilize! You will see lots of weak, leafy growth and few flowersgeneration.html#sthash.YwtJczN9.dpuf
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