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late tulips

eddm87eddm87 Posts: 11

Hi, looking for a little advice on tulips.

I really want to plant a selection of tulips in a section of my garden.

I'm afraid I'm too late to buy and plant now?

Are there any varieties I could plant now and are there any decent places/websites to get them from?

Of course the other option is to leave the tulips this year and go with an annual flower.

All feedback welcome, thanks.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837

    Hi edd- it may be a bit late to get any tulips but you could take a look at some of the specialist bulb suppliers to see what they have left. Ideally they're planted around November but there's no harm putting some in if you get them and seeing what comes up. I've used the Bulb Shop ( also under GeeTee bulbs) in the past and they were excellent. If you want specific colours or varieties you'd probably be best waiting for this year's supplies around September/October and sowing some annuals for a bit of colour this summer. Loads to choose from depending on what you want them for. For scent and colour you can't beat sweet peas and they're ideal for pots as well as borders and beds. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • eddm87eddm87 Posts: 11

    thanks Fairygirl, 

    I will take a look at seeing what they have left.

    Is it that ideally tulips are to be planted November, but still work planted late?

    Or is it that they will only grow if planted early?

    Those sweet peas really do look beautiful, will be investing in those to go next to my hyacinths.



  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Plant them now, no problem, they will bloom a bit later but they will bloom, they are programmed too.

    Not sure if you will be able to get any now though.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I planted some alliums last week that were discounted at the GC.

    Alliums are planted same time as Tulips although I guess Tulips sell out faster? You could try your local GC. (the packets said right up until Dec so what's a few days more?)

  • EsspeeEsspee Posts: 274

    When I grew tulips I always bought them early when there was lots of choice and they were in peak condition then stored them at home for planting up around Christmas time.  I have a clay soil and tulips can suffer if they are in it for too long over a cold wet winter.  I graduated to planting them in large pots of gritty compost which I kept on the patio until about to flower when I dug them in ( pots and all) where I needed a blast of colour.   Problem with planting them directly in the garden is that without ideal conditions they gradually rot off and you find only one or two sad blooms many years later.   Finally decided that wallflowers give me the colour and scent I love without the hassle so haven't bought tulips for years.  Lidl is selling bulbs growing in pots quite cheaply at the moment so you could use those as a stop gap.  Give them some protection until they get used to the awful weather though.  Good luck.

  • Any tulip planted now is likely to want to do its stuff. It lives off what is in the bulb and is programmed to reproduce itself. It may even hurry up, lest it misses its chance. nice experiment anyway. Give it a  go and feed it back. We will then award you a doctorate in tulipology, from the university of forkers. image

  • I am about to plant my tulips now. I have done this for the last couple of years without any problems. I look on tulips as annuals as they never do as well after the first year so I dig the bulbs up after flowering and put them on the compost heap. I grow mine in containers near the front and back doors so I can enjoy them close up.

    I am growing Ballerina and Princess Irene, bright orange edged yellw, Queen of the Night, a very dark purple almost black, and Tres Chic, A pure white. As above, I buy mine when the bulbs first come into the GCs and keep tehm in a cool darl place for planting now.

    I have grown Queen of the Night with a white variety for several years now. The black and white combination is unusual and striking

  • Your tulips will come if planted late but would suggest you stand them on grit at the base of the planting hole to give them good drainage.

  • Down here I think they need planting with water wings!

    I always plant my lily bulbs on a bed of grit, on their sides which seems to discourage lily beetle.

  • eddm87eddm87 Posts: 11

    Thanks for all your feedback.

    A little update from myself...

    I ended up buying some triumph tulips, double late tulips, and a few fritillaria and crocus.

    Chose these flowers as they should bloom at different times with many of them overlapping, they are of varying heights and I've planted them in rows to show that.

    All planted with some grit for drainage, the crocus may not bloom this year but with a little luck and love the rest should do fine (I hope)

    Will definitely post a picture up when they are going strong for you to see how well I did


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