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Tulip planting distances

I want to plant a dense swathe of Tulips in a flower bed and do not want to make the mistake of planting bulbs too thinly.

Any ideas on how close I can/should pack the bulbs to achieve the kind of effect one sees in Kukenhof - albeit at a smaller scale in my front garden? 

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,263

    You could cram them in fairly tightly if you just want a spring display. A couple of inches between each bulb should do. In pots, you can have them virtually touching each other. 

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


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Agree with FG, as close as you like as long as you don't expect them to flower in subsequent years.  Effectively, you treat them as annuals if you want a packed display.  Don't do that with species tulips which will come back every year though, those need space to multiply.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hi guys,

    Sorry if I did not make it clear - I DO want to have a display year after year. The tulips are a mix of types, Kuafmannaina, Griegii, Single,Double and Triumph. But not any species Tulips. I'm spending a lot of money to install this once, and then just sit back and enjoy every spring. 

    So given that repeated displays need space, what is the recommended density per square foot or metre for a dense display? The website I am buying from suggests 15cm spacing but in the past I have felt this website's spacing recommendations for Hyacinths etc were a bit sparse for my liking.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Hi TD, that will be no mean feat!  You will need to put in a lot of work to try and get what you desire and the chances are not good that you will succeed.  There is some good advice on this site:

    http://www.tulipsinthewoods.com/bulbs/13-ways-to-get-your-tulips-to-come-back/

    It would be impossible in my clay soil and local microclimate I think.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hi Bob, thanks for the great links that summarize several tips I've heard from other sources as well.

    A few years ago, a gardener had put in some spare tulip bulbs from another of his clients into my front garden, and without me doing anything these have kept coming up for the last 3-4 years. This year, I dug them up to re do the whole area and found several smaller bulbs. I think the soil and climate/position is to their liking, giving me the confidence to give it a whirl.

    If I decided to plant in smaller batches, I'd still have to wait 2 or even 3 years to see if it was successful and then go on to the next batch. I'm not a patient man...

    So I'll follow these tips and keep my fingers crossed, image

    Thanks again!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,263

    The fancy ones rarely last more than a couple of years here so I don't expect them to do well after the 2nd year. The Kauf and Greigii ones are still classed as species tulips and do well year after year. The Apeldoorn ones are also tough as old boots - the common, big red and yellow ones.  It's the blousier, taller ones that we instantly think of when someone says 'tulip',  that deteriorate.

    As Bob says, you'll have to work very hard to keep them going. It takes a long time for the little bulblets to get to blooming size  image

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


  • Ok, Thanks for the great advice from you guys. I double checked with the suppliers and selected the most sturdy repeat flowering varieties. You may have saved me a lot of wasted effort and money, so thanks again.

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