Tulips can still be planted throughout November – it’s a perfect time. This is a later planting period than most bulbs because late planting can help reduce problems with the disease called ‘tulip fire’, a fungal condition which causes brown spots and distorted shapes (tulips look as if they have been scorched by heat).
If you have this problem, take out all affected tulips and don’t replant any more in that area for at least three years. Always check your bulbs carefully before planting and don’t be tempted to plant any that are soft or those that have black fungal spots. Tulips grow best in fertile, well-drained soil in sunshine and don’t enjoy soggy or excessively wet conditions.
If you purchase bulbs that have different flowering times you can prolong the flowering season in a really rewarding manner. Early tulips include those of the Kaufmanniana, Fosteriana and Greigii groups, all of which should be giving gorgeous colour in March and April. Then in April and May there are Swan hybrids and parrot tulips putting on a great show, followed by Rembrandt and multi-flowering types later in May.
Bulb suppliers should always give an indication of flowering times and this is a really good way to keep your garden fresh and bright from early through to late spring. What a cheery thought!
Perfect Plants has many different varieties of tulips available. Delivery across the whole of the UK, including Highlands and Islands. Visit www.perfectplants.co.uk or telephone: 01323 833479.