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Right, I thought you plant them, they produce flowers, you take off the dead heads, feed and the foliage sucks up the grub and the bulb gets the energy to give next years growth and more importantly flowers. Now, my mum says only botanical tulips can be re-invigorated this way, I also saw on Beechgrove that hyacinths basically are one season wonders. What about daffs and alliums? Should I just feed all the bulbs once a week from the time I see them above ground, or after they have been dead-headed?
Hi Brummie, well, I've got tulips that have been coming up every year in the same place for the last 17 years and I've never fed them, not to mention the daffs? Same with hyacinths, although the flowers aren't as big as in the first year. But if you want to feed them, then do it after dead-heading, as they are then building up strength for next year.
I had some gorgeous deep rose pink tulips in a tub last year - after they flowered I dead headed them, fed them, let them die down and dried them off, keeping them loose in the cold frame over the summer while we did some major work on the garden - we planted the bulbs in the autumn and they've done really well this spring - flower heads not quite as bit as last year, but they've stood up to the weather better
The hyacinths that are 'one season wonders' are the forced indoor ones which flower over winther. I have been given some of these by a friend without a garden as they have finished flowering for this year, and they should produce flowers next year, albeit later in the year.
I agree bookmonster. I've always popped indoor forced hyacinths into the garden for the following year and they do flower, although not as showy as in the first year.
Can't grow indoor ones now as they make OH a bit wheezy.
Last year I had some hyacinths in tubs outside - I treated them the same as I did the tulips in my post above, and then put them into tubs again, with violas etc for the winter - this spring the hyacinths have all bloomed again almost as well as in their first year
I like the hyacinths more when they've been in the garden a year or two.
I think it's soil conditions with tulips as much as anything. They seem to need much better drainage than daffs for instance but maybe we feel that, as they get planted in autumn- later if anything than daffs -they must be tougher somehow and we have this notion that they will thrive in tough conditions too. I've also heard that they need to be planted much deeper than recommended for them to repeat well.
Tulips will flower year after year if planted deep enough - 9" - and in soil that isn't waterlogged in winter. Mine out in teh big borders tend to get eaten by rodents in winter but I've had great success with the smaller botanical tulips in other, well drained beds.
Daffodils go on for years, especially if planted deep but may need to be lifted and separated every few years if they get crowded and stop flowering. I've had some in for 12 years now and still flowering strongly each year. paperwhites, grown for indoor displays, are not usually hardy enough to be grown outside.
Hyacinths also repeat flower although forced ones wn't do so well the first year aftre being put in the garden.
Alliums go on for years too.
I don't feed bulbs specifically but I do scatter a general feed on my borders in spring and I do dead head except snowdrops and crocuses and scillas and grape hyacinths and other tiny stuff.