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Is this tulip fire?

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
I have read that you must dig them up, burn/dispose of and not grow tulips there for 3 years etc. But is this definitely tulip fire do you think? If it is, would it be ok to wait and see if I get any tulips at all or would it be bad for surrounding plants to leave them any longer?

They are orange tulips - Ballerina and Princess Irene - apart from the weird distortions some of the leaves have a red-tinge, is this normal or part of the tulip fire?

I do have some other varieties in a border in another part of the garden that seem unaffected, but it’s cooler there...


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,112
    Amazing corrugation going on there.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
    Quite impressive eh? But maybe not in a good way! Never grown tulips before so I am clueless.
  • pbffpbff Posts: 433
    Hi @Nollie,
    I have (luckily!) never yet had any problems with tulip fire in my garden, therefore my first-hand knowledge of the disease is limited.
    I do know however that the disease is specific to tulips and does affect any other plant species.

    Info here on Tulip Fire, which you may have already seen:

    Info here on a new disease affecting tulip foliage, which may or may not be relevant!:

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
    Thanks for the links pbff, I hadn’t seen the last one. The more I read the more I think it probably is tulip fire and they have to go, it’s just I have layered alliums underneath and I am reluctant to disturb or lose them too. Β£100’s worth of bulbs in total, disaster all round. Β I can only assume I planted them too early in my mild wet autumn that followed, they were from Farmer Gracy and the bulbs looked healthy enough...

    I also found the following link to an old Sarah Raven article. Interestingly she says it also affects lilies and some irises, so can’t replace them with daylilies either!
  • autumngloryautumnglory Posts: 255
    I've never had any luck with tulips in the ground in any garden, I only grow them in pots now.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
    i’ll do that in future, autumnglory.Β 
  • pbffpbff Posts: 433
    Hi @Nollie,

    I'd never heard of the disease affecting other genera before.

    Day-lilies (Hemerocallis) are of a different genus to liliesΒ (Lilium),Β so you should be fine to replace with these, I should think.

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
    Oh, thanks for explaining that pbff, I didn’t realise daylilies same genus. I did loads of research on tulip fire and SR’s article was the only one I found that mentioned it affected lilies, everyone else said it was only tulips!
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,872
    I'm not sure that it is tulip fire. I have got a lot of damaged bulb foliage at the moment, I have put it down to the snow that has buried it twice this year. It seems to be growing out of it. I lost some hellebore heads as well. I could be wrong , but I would wait and see if it deteriorates before pulling the lot up and burning.Β  I don't know what the weather has been like in Spain, but we have had some unseasonal weather and more on the way apparently.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,676
    Oops, dug them all up today, having dithered for days :/ One or two did open and were pretty distorted and a most peculiar colour, not at all what they should be. We did have 7” of snow overnight a few weeks ago... won’t tell OH, who loves tulips!
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