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Planting tulips late

Posted: Monday 14 January 2013
by James Alexander-Sinclair

As I write this in the blushing dawn of the new year I feel it appropriate to come clean about something that I ought to have done by now.


Tulipa 'Little Princess'

A belated happy new year to one and all. May your beans be beauteous, your snapdragons sensational and your turnips on time.

As I write this in the blushing dawn of the new year I feel it appropriate to come clean about something that I ought to have done by now. A box of tulips is sitting under my desk (along with two pairs of shoes, the overspill from the waste paper basket and a pen top whose presence I have been missing for a while). They should have been planted at least a month ago (the tulips, not the shoes) but I haven’t quite got round to actually digging the holes.

I don’t know why, but sometimes the ancient Lord of Procrastination overtakes my life. Almost anything - mending the lawn mower, rodding a drain or sitting on the sofa reading the paper - becomes more important than making decisions about where to plant bulbs. Silly really, but there you go.

Fortunately, all is not lost. A good healthy tulip (by which I mean a bulb that is about the size of an egg and is firm of flesh and robust in spirit) is a bit like a camel: it carries all the nutrition and energy it needs within its pale skin already. This means that it will flower without much help from us (at least for this year it will) no matter how late you plant them.

So I reckon that these tulips will flower anyway if I plant them some time in the next couple of weeks. This is not a tactic I would recommend, as tulips will be much happier if you plant them at the right time (November). However if, like me, you have some that you forgot or never got round to planting, then all is not lost.





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FreeFlower 15/01/2014 at 12:46

How did they turn out ???
I am about to do the same this week and plant some healthy bulbs in pots( keeping in cool conservatory ) and some daffodils I got reduced also healthy some will have to go outside into ground
Fingers crossed !!