Faded tulips

Faded tulips

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Question: Faded tulip bulbs

I ask for help: my tulips have faded, what should I do now? should I put them home?
but first I have to cut the stem?

Answer: Sfiorit tulip bulbs

Dear Carmela, the tulip bulbs, after flowering, must be removed from the soil once the leaves have dried (ie towards the month of June, or even earlier if it is early flowering). They are kept in a dry environment after removing the old leaves and roots from the bulb. They replant in November.

Deepening on faded tulips

Tulips are loved by gardeners: their flowering signals the beginning of spring and their corollas, so large and colorful, make our flowerbeds bright.
However, there are also negative aspects: once the petals have fallen you must wait before eliminating the aerial part, on pain of weakening of the bulb. In this article we will give suggestions to make them last many years and how to behave in the difficult passage of desiccation.

What types of tulips are there on the market?

In nurseries the most widespread of all are the large-flowered tulips: they have a long stem, large corollas and, for the most part, carry only one flower. The specialized shopkeepers can therefore also supply us with other bulbs, those of the botanical tulips. Unlike the former, they have smaller dimensions and often carry more than one stem. They are ideal in the first lines of the flower beds, but can also be used profitably in the meadows, because they slowly become naturalized and spread freely.

How to treat the bulbs after flowering

The most common tulips are very demanding because the production of the stem and the flower significantly reduces the stocks present in the bulb.
When the petals begin to fall, we must try in every way to restore these stocks: the central bulb will remain in good condition and lateral cloves will also be produced.
We suggest to distribute weekly a liquid fertilizer rich in potassium, until the aerial part is completely dry.

Extraction of the bulbs

When the leaves appear completely dry we can proceed with the extraction. This operation is not strictly necessary, but there are advantages: we can monitor whether the bulbs have been damaged by fungi or parasites. Furthermore we can proceed to the division from the lateral bulbils, which we can cultivate to renew our flowerbeds.
We recommend moving the whole ground with a spade, working carefully to avoid damaging the plants. Alternatively, if the system is not too dense, we can use two small pitchforks on each bulb.

... What if I didn't want to wait for the leaves to dry?

Indeed it is the most annoying phase of the process, because at that time our flower beds will unfortunately not only appear bare, but also a little neglected. A good compromise is to gently remove the bulb with a shovel and place it in a shady place until it is dried. Even better results are obtained by placing them in vases full of earth and proceeding with fertilization, as would be done in the flowerbed.

Bulb storage

First of all we will have to select our tulips: we discard those that are too small and also those that show signs of rot or damage.
We then proceed to the elimination of the dry aerial parts and of the roots, using sharp and disinfected scissors. Let us then place them for a few days in a shady and airy place so that they dry well. We then spread some specific fungicide powder and prepare them for storage. Excellent results are obtained by placing them in boxes on newspaper, dry sand or sawdust, in a dark and dry place such as a garage or cellar. If mice wander around in that place we cover with a fine metal mesh or use hanging baskets.

The bulbils

As we have said, we must preserve in this way only the largest bulbs, namely the central ones. The small bulbs that we see around must be detached because they would grow to their detriment. However, they too can be enhanced and made to grow to make them reach the right size to give a beautiful bloom. To achieve this we must place them in a vase filled with sand, to be kept in the shade, at a distance of at least 5 cm from each other. Until late autumn we will administer a fertilizer with a high potassium content and maybe, if we have it, some ash. Let us put them back in the fall and resume the treatment in spring, after they have released the leaves. Usually they reach good size in about 2 years, when they finally manage to bloom.

Faded tulips: Botanical tulips

Botanical tulips are less known and widespread, but should be re-evaluated for their undoubted beauty and remarkable cultivation practicality. They are in fact much more resistant and less demanding than those with large flowers. They are rarely attacked by cryptogams or rots, especially if placed in a fairly drained soil with a basic pH.
Putting them in the flower beds or even in the lawn (perhaps in the company of cyclamens, crocuses and muscari) will give us splendid effects and we will have the satisfaction of seeing them flourish year after year, almost without processing. It is also not uncommon for them to spread more and more, both thanks to lateral bulbs and seed. The distribution of potassium fertilizer from spring onwards will help us further enhance these peculiarities.