10 April 2009

Bad Tulip Posture

The Red Emperor tulips (tulip fosteriana) are one of the favorites because these large-flower plants pop out early in the season. Last year, a few more were purchased to supplement my older collection. However, this year I noticed that these newcomers came on shorter stems in comparison to the older ones. Both were planted in the same bed under the same conditions.

The long stem emperors (right) were preferred since they stood taller and were more visible. As often happens, there were a few very windy days this spring. After Mother Nature calmed down, the long stem emperors all ended up leaning one way as a result of the wind. The shorter emperors (left) remained straight up. Maybe a short stem variety is better after all.

My past experience is that these bulbs always split and multiply, but the resulting bulbs may take two years to actually bloom. Also, warm weather in the spring tends to hasten the bloom decline faster than other tulips.

For The Record:
  • Well drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Bone meal fertilizer applied in the fall

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: Lemon chiffon, ice follies, & fifer daffodils; red emperors & orange tulips
  • Seedlings: Tomatoes planted 9 April