Big leaves- no buds and lots of single leaves
Asked April 23, 2019, 10:51 AM EDT
Most od my tulips are Perennials. Always have lots os flowers, over 200 bulbs planted. This year--no buds. Will single leaved ever produce blooms? Should I just start over?
Midland County Michigan
Tulip bulbs will decline in flowers produced after 3-5 years. This is because the original bulb gets weakened as bulb-lets form on it and use its nutrients, therefore, it has less energy to go toward flower production.
You can dig up and take off the bulb-lets (offsets) and replant all of them, yet it will take over 2 years for these bulb-lets to form flowers. Another maintenance tip to help tulip bulbs produce bigger flowers is to make sure you allow the green leaves to die back (providing more energy to the bulb) rather than trimming these off. Cut off flower stems to prevent seeds from developing.
Your other option is to purchase new bulbs this fall and plant these for another 3-5 years of flower production.
I'm assuming that you must not have deer as they will eat tulip buds/stems.
Here is an Illinois Extension resource that explains more about bulbs: http://extension.illinois.edu/bulbs/planting.cfm