Tulips – Perennial

Q: I heard you state on your radio show this past Saturday that tulips DEFINITELY only last one season in Georgia.

That has not been my experience. My current batch, which are blooming beautifully now, are in their 5th year. I mixed them in with other spring bulbs, so that the bed would look good even if there were no tulips the second year.

The two batches before these bloomed for 4 years. The bed is a bulb bed only, under a river birch tree, where they have light shade, with a 3-4″ leaf mulch on them year round.

A: Theresa Schrum replies: “During the show on Saturday when Walter and I were discussing tulips, our exact words on the subject were that they were not RELIABLY perennial in Georgia not that they DEFINITELY only last one season.

IF you have the right kind of tulips (usually the species tulips, not selected varieties) and IF you plant them deep enough and IF you have a good microclimate for them and IF you have good luck, then you may get years of repeated bloom.

For most Georgia gardeners, this is not the case. I’m glad you are having such good success with yours.”