Is Something in My Garden Soil Killing My Tulip Bulbs?

Asked November 17, 2019, 12:25 PM EST

I planted about 100 bulbs 6 years ago in my front garden. They had been coming up strongly for 4 years. Last year there were a number of empty spots where there should have been bulbs. I planted some more there. But this year, only about 5% of the bulbs came up. Other things in garden did fine: azalea bushes, primrose, petunias and vinca. The last three are located right around or over the bulbs. I am thinking of planting some more tulip bulbs there, but I am concerned there is some disease or chemical problem in the soil that may kill off the new bulbs. Any thoughts? Thanks

Baltimore Maryland bulbs flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials pest - other bulbs getting eaten bulbs disappearing

1 Response

Since other plants are growing well in the area, it's unlikely that there is a chemical problem.

We had record-breaking rains over the past two years and many plant drown. It the soil in that area tends to be soggy for a long time after rains, they may have rotted.

A more likely culprit is voles. These rodents love to eat bulbs (Moles, on the contrary, do not eat bulbs.) Here is info about voles: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/voles Dig in the area where you planted the bulbs and, if you find no bulbs, that points to voles.

Ellen