Growing on tulips

At the end of the season when I empty my bulb pots, I find the tulips have produced bulblets and the mother bulbs are smaller in size.

I would like to know two things:

what is the best way to grow tulips to reduce the development of bulblets and keep the mother bulb large, and 

how to grow on bigger bulblets into large productive tulip bulbs.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If you feed the tulips after flowering, the bulbs should be bigger. You won't stop bulblets forming, that natural reproduction. As for growing them on if you pop the offsets into a nursery bed they take a few years to get to any size, but you'll get more with patience. Don't let the small bulbs flower either, snap off the flowering heads and feed them with a foliar feed at the same time as you feed other bulbs. 

  • Foliar feed after flowering; high potash?  This year I've planted the bulbs with a bed of course grit and FFB mixed into the compost as a feed hoping to keep the bulbs strong.  How deep should the offsets be planted in the nursery bed? I know flowering takes energy away from the bulbs.

    Thank you Dave for the information. 

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 427

    I try to be selective with the off shoots ie discarding the tiny ones, mind I hate to do it. In my case i am only talking about potted tulips. Those in the ground take their chance and aren't lifted. My tulips get planted at the beginning of November, I replant into fresh compost each year a mixture of JI 2 and multi purpose, some times some home produced compost too. I sprinkle some BFB in.  The bulbs are all planted at the same depth ie will have 4-5 inches of compost over them. Main bulbs are about 2 inches apart and babies popped in around them. Once they are well up in the spring they are fed with tomato fertiliser once a week. I think a bed system would work well but sadly I don't have the space.....mind I probably would have if I didn't have so many pots on the go.

  • You and I garden in a very similar way, right down to having too many pots of tulips.  Thank you for your input.

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