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Disappointing Tulips

justflowersjustflowers Posts: 123
I bought new Tulip bulbs this year for my pots and had high hopes for them - they were good quality bulbs, mostly from Sarah Raven.  Some have flowered well, but many have not got as far as coming into full bloom, with the buds becoming dry and papery and then dying off.  I never normally water bulbs in pots , but did so this year a couple of times as it was so dry, but possibly not enough?  I'd really like some views on whether it was the lack of rainfall or the unusual cold at nights or possibly something completely different.  They were all planted in a mix of compost and grit at a ratio of 2:1.  I am in Shropshire and most of the pots are in a sheltered position. Thanks in anticipation!


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I had the same thing. I assumed I had over fertilised it, but maybe not.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,633
    I must admit the tulips in the ground have done better than the pots. 
    The lasagne pot was the best, all new compost and bulbs with pansies on top. Last year's spring tubs with refreshed compost on the top did ok but not sparkling. ( couldn't start again as other plants in with them)
    The new company Boston Bulbs I tried this year did pretty well,  Apeldoorn Red Darwin 25/25, Mixed Darwin 19/25 and Blueberry Ripple 18/25  to date. What do you think to this.
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 865
    My potted SR tulips are enormously disappointing this year too... 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,507
    Perhaps you should email Sarah Raven and complain?
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 865
    Did that last year, and got them refunded... should've learnt my lesson, silly me! 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I will send pictures to them. They were doing so well until half way through when everything crisped up. Why would they do that?
  • selinasallyselinasally Posts: 166
    mine also did badly- I had it lasagne pots and did not water through the first 3 weeks of the dry April thinking we would get rain eventually- mine look very stunted and frost bitten
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,296
    I’ve been watering my pots of tulips twice a week since the end of March, and they are doing ok.  I think it is lack of water that has caused buds to fail, or stunted growth.  That would explain why those in the ground are doing better too - they had more moisture to access in the April drought.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I watered mine in pots assiduously.
  • justflowersjustflowers Posts: 123
    Thanks everyone - sounds like it has not been a good year for tulips in pots! Your pictures @selinasally look exactly like mine! I don't feel able to complain to Sarah Raven as I can't really remember which bulbs came from her and which I ordered as a special offer from GW - can't remember who the supplier was of those - clearly I need to be more organised!  I will try a different supplier next year though - any recommendations - apart from Boston bulbs?
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