Can you leave tulips in the ground all year?

Tulips are arguably the brightest and purest coloured plants for early spring flowering. And if you don't have a passion for the fruits of the genus Tulipa then you clearly have a heart made from frozen spiders. But of course you love tulips as much as I do otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article. So once your tulips have exhausted their abundant charms and have withered back into the abyss there is a question to be asked. Can you leave tulips in the ground all year?

This is a great question. If you had grandparents like me you would be familiar with the yearly ritual of lifting after die-back and drying bulbs over the summer, a routine that had been handed down through the generations since before the Victorian golden age of gardening. On the other hand, my own parents did no such thing and everything was left in the ground with their usual two chances of survival. They either did or they didn't.

So back to whether you can leave tulips in the ground all year. The most important aspects to this question are site and soil. Your tulips will need to be planted somewhere where they will receive as much sunlight as possible. Regarding soil conditions, tulips will perform best in a nutrient rich, free-draining soil which does not become waterlogged during freezing conditions. If you can provide these conditions then you should be able to leave you tulips in the ground all year round. However to help your plants along consider applying a liquid soluble fertilizer periodically between the end of flowering and when the old stems have turned brown.

Just a few more points, the further north in the country you are intending to grow your tulips the ore likely you are going to need to provide a dry mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing conditions. Also the traditional tulip varieties that have proven themselves capable of remaining planted outside are likely to fair far better than the more modern fancier varieties. So the true answer to this question, as it is in life, is to do your research first.

For further reading click onto the following links:

No comments: