Why Don't My Tulips Come Back?

Although some classes of tulips can re-bloom, we market them exclusively as annuals. If you leave them in the ground for a second year, you'll likely be disappointed in the results. 

Outside of Specie (Botanical) tulips, no tulip class will reliably re-bloom the following year. 

In Holland, tulips return with ease due to the sandy soil (perfect for drainage), cool Spring weather (allowing foliage to hang around and return energy to the bulb), and harvest techniques (deadheading).

On our family farm, we let our tulips bloom for 7-10 days strictly to check crop health, ensure variety accuracy, our own enjoyment, and most of all for tourism in the Bloembollen (Dutch bulb district). 

The blooms are then promptly deadheaded to return energy to the bulbs and size them up to 12+.

A landscape professional's goal is to maximize bloom time for their client. Our goal is to produce healthy, top size bulbs for export to the USA. 

The tulip bloom requires a lot of energy, thus stressing the bulb and preventing it from producing the large bulb that would be necessary for perennialization the following year.

Even with proper deadheading/foliage treatment, tulip bulbs are likely to split underground over the summer when the soil temps warm.

This results in a larger quantity of size 10 and 11 cm bulbs underground, rather than the 12+ cm that we traditionally supply each Fall.

Size 10 bulbs will shoot up foliage exclusively, whereas the 11’s will re-bloom, but with substantially smaller flowers (about 1/3rd the size of a 12+). 

If you wish to take your chances, Darwin Hybrid's, Fosteriana, Greigii's, Kaufmanniana, & Specie tulips offer the best odds, but for best results, always plant a fresh crop of tulips each year!

Got a topic you'd like to see us cover in a future article? E-mail Chris with your suggestions and we'll get to work!

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