Mortgage California Blog

Taking Care of Your Tulips

March 22nd, 2013

 

lilac hyacinth in interior ofTaking Care of Your Tulips (and Other Flowering Bulbs)

 

You’re probably seeing daffodils and tulips everywhere, unless you’re still in a really cold environment. Then you’re probably seeing crocuses.  Irises are starting to build up their leaves, and soon there will be dahlias, and other beautiful flowers blooming like crazy.

 

Bulbs need some special care to come back strong each year.

 

Choosing Bulbs

 

You think you’d like some flowers that will come back each year,but you’re not really sure what they would look like.  Here’s some guides to the flowers with pictures:

 

  1. 12 Types of Bulbs and Corms for Your Lawn
  2. 11 Spring-Blooming Bulbs
  3. Better Homes & Gardens Bulb Directory
  4. Burpee Flowering Bulbs (ok, it’s a catalog, and we don’t want you to think this is a recommendation for buying from them. The pictures are great, and you can sort by color.)
  5. Popular Types of Flowering Bulbs

 

HGTV guide recommends buying a lot of bulbs, and look for large ones. In Holland where most big bulbs are grown, they sell by their circumference. Pay attention to the colors and how they’ll look together. Additionally, look at the time for flowering. This way, you could have some bulbs that bloom in late winter, then others in early spring, late spring, and summer.

 

Planting Bulbs

 

Unfortunately, it’s probably too late to plant bulbs for Spring flowers, unless you find some that have already started growing leaves. The common time to plant is in the Fall when the soil temperatures have chilled but not frozen. These bulbs usually come from an arid environment and go dormant during the summer.

 

The good news is that now is the perfect time to plant summer blooming bulbs. Give them some good fertilizer and a good watering. Many summer blooming bulbs like the heat, but they will need to be watered regularly when they’re actively growing.

 

All bulbs need to be planted where the water drains easily otherwise they can rot if left to sit in puddles.

 

Care and Feeding of Bulbs

 

After the bulb has bloomed, the leaves will eventually turn yellow and wilt.  It’s important to let the foliage naturally go yellow — don’t cut it off early and don’t braid the foliage to try to make it look tidier.  Do remove the flowers when they’re done so that the bulb doesn’t try to go to seed, and will continue to produce flowers.

 

Give the bulbs some high nitrogen fertilizer at the beginning of their growth cycle to have great flowers. And then at the end, give the bulbs another good amount of fertilizer to have enough food during their dormant cycle.

 

After a few years, bulbs will need to be divided. This is easier than it sounds. It needs to be done to reduce overcrowding. Plus, you can then give a bulb to a friend. Wait until fall when all of the foliage has died out. Then dig up the bulbs and you’ll see how there are a number of bulbs stuck together.  Gently pull them apart.

 

If you have a tuber or a rhizome, you’ll see that there are growing points. Cut the tuber or rhizome so that each new section has a growing point on it.

 

You can replant them immediately, or you can let them dry out, and store them in a cool dry place to be replanted in the Spring.

 

Will you be planting some dahlias or irises for this summer?

 

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