Tulips that last
Tulips left in the ground will sometimes re-flower, but more often they'll dwindle and disappear. You can replant with new combinations – but if you've got a really good display going, it's also possible to persuade the same tulips to come back next season. Here's how:
- remove dead flowers and wait till foliage turns yellow, about six weeks after flowering
- dig up your bulbs, brush off excess soil and discard any which are diseased or damaged
- dry under cover for a couple of weeks – the greenhouse or a conservatory is perfect
- store your bulbs in net bags for winter in a well-ventilated place at room temperature (about 20ºC).
In our garden centre you'll also find species tulips – smaller, wilder-looking tulips which come back year after year so you won't need to lift them.
Good ones to try are Tulipa turkestanica, appearing in early spring with up to nine flowers per spike; Tulipa greigii 'Red Riding Hood', 20cm high and scarlet in April; and Tulipa sprengeri, the last of the tulips to flower in late May, again bright scarlet.