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I would like to grow Tulips in a border. Some of the old ones come up but only in singles dotted around. I would like to see the bulbs multiply and come up year on year.
I would like small groups dotted around.
My question is, if I put a gravel bed, at the bottom of a hole, then put some well drained rich compost on top and then plant the bulbs would this work, as I believe Tulips don't like moist claggy soil, basically treat them like Lavenders.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,148
    The problem with tulips is they never come up so well year after year, most people lift them after flowering and plant new bulbs the following Autumn. With regard to putting gravel/ grit in the planting hole, this could help with drainage if your soil is not very free draining.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,352
    The large flowered tulips don't always come back, but some varieties are better than others.
    The small flowered species tulips do much better. I've had Ancilla, Chrysantha and Bakerii Lilac wonder repeat for several years.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I have a border (about 4ft by 25ft in which I planted around 150 tulips. Most years  I would add a few more , say 20-30. This has gone on for at least 10 years. Last year very few of my tulips came up at all so I decided this was a good opportunity to change the colour scheme. I planted 150 tulips at the end of last year in a totally different colour palette. I await with interest to see what I get this year!!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    There are several species of naturally occurring tulips which haven't been selectively bred and will naturalise, ie multiply and spread.  They are marketed as "species tulips".  They include some quite lovely flowers, but they are smaller and less showy than the commercial varieties.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Lovely to find out about species tulips and how they multiply and spread like snowdrops. More here and here. I will definitely be planting these up to spread, having given up on other tulips that never come back. 
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