Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perennial Tulip

Gardeners are advised to treat tulips as annuals. Despite their association with the soggy Netherlands, tulips are native to the dry, mountainous regions of central Asia. They need cold winters, wet springs, and dry summers to perform well year after year. Most gardeners can’t (or won’t) provide these conditions, so the plants decline after a year or so. Tulip breeders offer varieties they claim are perennial, but are they really? (And, wouldn’t it be counter to the tulip breeder’s interests to produce a tulip that perennializes in the garden setting?)

I’ve either got one of those new-fangled perennial tulips or special conditions in my garage bed because these tulips are going strong on their third year! They’ve received no extra care. I haven’t fertilized them. They got pretty wet this summer as I irrigated the nearby tomato bushes. You want to know what type of tulip they are, right?

I wish I knew! They came free with some bulb order. Ah, the irony, to have a tulip that appears to perennialize and not know how to get more.

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Blogger Herbs and Me said...


Glad to see you back. I can't wait to see what you all do this summer:)


How about another garden tour????

12:33 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

I have always considered tulips perennials -- some of course are better than others. That is why I am horrified, and giddy, to find bulbs in the community compost center every year. I pull them out of the pile and plant them in my own garden! I have a whole bed of salvaged tulips. A group of them look very much like these, as a matter of fact. They are beautiful!

If you want big tulips that really do well year after year try the Darwin hybrids or the emperors. I have had great luck with both. They come back big and multiply!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Kylee said...

I have some species tulips that are doing well. And I'm on my third year of some pink fringed ones, as well as a mix of some pinks.

I read somewhere that if you plant them deeply enough, you'll have them for more years. I know there are some tulips here in a nearby cemetery that have been there for years. They don't look like anything special - just your run-of-the-mill red tulips!

12:35 AM  
Blogger macaroo388 said...

Here are more species tulips if you're interested.

"Tulipa kaufmanniana grows 6 to 8 inches tall and is available in awide variety of colors. It blooms in early spring.

Tulipa linifolia grows 4 to 6 inches tall with brilliant redflowers.

Tulipa pulchella is a tiny plant growing 3 to 5 inches tall. Ithas violet purple fragrant flowers in early spring.

Tulipa saxatillis naturalizes readily. The flowers, lavender-pinkwith a yellow base, appear mid-spring. Plants grow 6 yo 8 inchestall.

Tulipa sylvestris grows 10 to 12 inches tall with fragrant yellowflowers. Flowers occur 3 to 7 per stem.

Tulipa tarda flowers are yellow with white tips. Plants grow 4 to6 inches tall. This tulip is easy to grow.

Tulipa turkestanica has cream colored flowers occurring 3 to 5 perstem. Flowers appear in early spring. Plants grow 5 to 8 inches tall.

All the species tulips listed above are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 7 with the exception of T. pulchella and T.turkestanica. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8. Many more speciestulips are available just waiting for the opportunity to grow in your garden.

This article originally appeared in the September 16, 1994 issue, p. 141."


10:41 AM  
Blogger Adi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost certainly, that's Tulipa Jaap de Groot, aka Jaap Groot, a Darwin Hybrid. Good luck w it... it has the reputation of returning for up to five years!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Lisson said...

How frustrating. I hope the commenters got it right, I would love to plant hardy perennial tulips!

7:36 AM  

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