Tulip fire

Time to act:

Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov

Fungal spores attack emerging tulip leaves. They invariably become malformed, with brown spots leading to rotting of both the foliage and flowers, although the buds may well fail to open. If they do open, there will probably be white spots on the petals. Sometimes the flower stem collapses and the whole plant can end up covered in fungus, especially after heavy rain.


Withered, distorted tulip leaves are covered in brown spots followed by a grey fungal growth. Any flowers that are produced have pale spots on the petals and are likely to turn mouldy and rot.

Find it on




Immediately destroy all infected plants, along with the soil around the roots, and don't replant any tulips in the same spot for at least three years. Check tulip bulbs carefully before planting to make sure they are unblemished and firm, and don't have any signs of fungus around the neck.

It can help to plant tulips in November, rather than early autumn. By planting closer to Christmas soils are colder, so the fungus is less likely to spread.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Daffodil, tulip and crocus pot display

How to lift and store tulip bulbs

Iris leaf spot

Mould on bulbs

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Save 20% on bulbs

You'll save 20% across the huge range of spring bulbs for autumn planting at Sarah Raven. (Offer does not include summer-flowering bulb varieties).

Use code: GW16WSB

Order now


Subscriber only content

100 free* spring bulbs

Subscribers can claim 100 beautiful spring bulbs, including Chionodoxa, Muscari, Iris and tulip (worth £22) for free - *just pay £5.65 for postage.

Unlock now


Claim 50 free* tulip bulbs

Claim a bumper bag of 50 mixed tulip bulbs (worth over £29) for free. Add the 'Bumper Border Mix' to your basket and enter code at checkout. *Just pay £5.95 for postage.

Use code: GX16OCT

Order now