tulips in bloom

Buying Tulip Bulbs

Be sure your tulips make the grade!

Tulip bulbs can come in many sizes and the best prices may not be the best tulips.

I have tulips that have bloomed every spring for the last 15 years! And I have had the same variety of tulips that have bloomed for only 2 years. What makes the difference? Size! Somewhere (maybe in very small print) you will find the size noted. The size of a tulip bulb is its measured girth in centimeters.

Size matters!

Buy the tulips that are 10-12 centimeters. And check the bulbs for freshness and weight. Each bulb should not feel hollow or dried out.

Buying a bulk pack of bulbs is fine, just check the size of the bulb. Some multi-packs are sold with inferior bulbs. Don't be tricked by the cheaper price. The flowers produced by the smaller bulbs will be -wait for it-SMALLER, less vigorous and probably not return year after year.

If you are buying them at a retail store, make sure you get them soon after they are off the delivery truck, then bring them home and keep them stored in the dark until ready for planting. Bulbs sitting in a well-lit store for weeks on a shelf will dry out and could cause them to lose their viability.

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Tulip

Next blog topic: Other bulbs to plant for SW Idaho