Experts and BHG readers answer.
Any ideas why my tulips didn't return this spring?
Did you do anything different last spring after your tulips bloomed? Bulbs that become weak or refuse to flower in subsequent years may not have been able to manufacture enough food to store up the energy they need to support flower buds. They may be growing in too much shade, or you may have removed the leaves before they turned completely brown and were done manufacturing food. The truth is, however, that most tulips wear out quickly. Darwin hybrids and the other more flashy varie-ties last for only a couple of years at most. Only botanical or species tulips and their hybridized strains reliably come back year after year. Some hybrid tulips have more of a propensity for repeat performance. Try ‘Charles’, ‘Christmas Marvel’, and ‘Couleur Cardinal’. Triumph tulips, such as ‘Don Quichotte’, and lily-flowered ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Ballade’ should bloom reliably for more than one season. Others offering potential for a second season of color include tall Darwin hybrids such as ‘Golden Parade’, ‘Oxford’, and ‘Holland’s Glory’.