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I too have had a disappointing tulip incident. The 300 'Queen of the Nights' I've been very excited about in a very large galvanised tub - have started to flower. They are in fact a nasty mix of all sorts of reds and oranges - not part of the scheme at all. Some big some small, some weedy. Lesson learnt - only go to suppliers you trust!

Shame that your Tulips are not what you wished to purchase. To be honest, I've bought from various suppliers, that I do, in general, trust, and had problems.  I've had various packs of bulbs and plants, that turned out be NOT what I'd ordered, or NOT what was printed on the packaging, or within the catalogue.  On each occasion, I have called the supplier, explained the situation, and they have either replaced, with the correct goods, or refunded my money.  So even our 'trusted' suppliers make mistakes.


Hi James,I don't grow tulips but all my yellow daff's have finished that is the one's that flowered this year the white daff's are better than ever this year maybe the seasons are back to front warm end to winter cold start to spring,who can tell.

I love species tulips, James. T. . . clusiana, sylvestris, Turkistanica, tarda, all thrive in my garden but Even I weep sometimes. The wind and torrential rain in Bristol last night has snapped the stems of my clusiana which have been delighting me these last few weeks. Serves me right for putting them right in the middle of the garden where I can enjoy them most. It seems like some shelter is needed.
Shrinking Violet

I planted my tulips in troughs this year, and they have been spectacular (sorry to rub it in).  The only disappointment was that the deep burnt-orange ones were a bit more peachy.  I had intended a full colour clash with strong purple and deep red, but it didn't quite go to plan.  But I'll try again next year.

btw am I the only one who doesn't see the point of yellow tulips?  After all the yellow daffs, I want something different - and love the strong colour splash that tulips can offer.  Yellow tulips just seem - well,  a bit of the same colour palette, and a bit boring as a result.


I can sympathise. I grew several pots full of tulip bulbs this year, and have several blasts of colour next to my front door. But one pot has no flowers, i think because I didn't water them enough at a key time. There are leaves, and buds formed, but then aborted. All my fault :-(
And, since I have problems getting them to flower a 2nd year, I may never know what I've missed. Pooh!
Hi James, I'm so glad you posted this as the exact same thing has happened, to our potted tulips.
I never forget to water them so must be another reason for mine.............I planted 12 of the exact same variety in one pot, can't remember the name,they were a very beautiful, striking, dark purple. They have all come through now however 4 of them have turned a lovely yellowy/creme colour and these cream ones are half the size of the purple ones??????? Any ideas why this might have happened
I feel exactly the same. My favourite colour for tulips is a good strong red - a wonderful contrast after the daffs, and the first red of the year after my chaenomeles. (Bet I have spelt that wrongly!)
I am so glad I am not the only on with weird tulip results. Some of my pots did nothing at all, some half the tulips grew - literally half, one side or the other, a couple grew well, some leaves only. All were new bulbs bought from a reputable grower - so what is it with tulips this year? At present some of mine are tall and lovely with fat buds which are going to rot away soon without opening if the rain continues. This is one of the reasons I stopped growing parrot and other frilly tulips, they invariably rotted before opening.

In previous years I have had lots of glorious tulips in pots, lovely colours, doing well - is this because of a change in compost? I do wonder when I look at what comes out of bags this year, maybe last years bulb stuff was not good? The mix to get a few but have always left enough for a good show, but not this year - or come to that, last year either.

I bought most of my tulips in the sale in January(100 bulbs for a tenner), they are going great guns. I planted all of them in pots. They have had very little water and I was worried that they would all be stunted but not so.


I was going to throw caution to the wind and go tuplip mad this autumn but these stories of loss are making me think twice.  

I had good success in (a few) pots last year (dry winter, wrm dry spring) but this year they've not been so good (wet winter, warm dry early spring) - though the colours stayed true. I'm going to plant them in the borders this year after a good feed and hope for the best


I had approx 400 tulips to plant last Autumn.  I left it late to avoid desease.  Most went in one big bed, the rest in pots.  The pots were really disappointing.  Only 2 gave a full show, whilst the other pots, maybe 4 or 5, either only leafed up and no flowers at all, or only 1 or 2 flowers per pot.  The bed planting, has surpassed my hopes and expectations, especially as I know I lost a fair few to the field mice.  So maybe I won't bother with pots next year?  How long are Tulips supposed to last in situ anyway?  I don't left and store them.


Yellow tulips might be a bit "samey" after all the yellow daffs but I find my plain old yellow (and plain old red) ones flower every year without fail with no special treatment and look fab. However I've bought more "exotic" colours according to the photo on the pack and been disappointed with the colour as its not like what the photo promised, also by the second year they have become rather puny looking. Last autumn I planted some extremely exotic looking yellow and red striped parrot tulips and they are absolutely more mad and bonkers than on the photo on the packet and have stood up to all the battering of the rain. It just goes to show what a game this gardening malarkey is and you can't predict if you'll win or lose.

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