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Why are my Tulips so Short? (and a March Update)

Hi Lovelies!

This year’s tulips are ridiculously short – I’ve included some possible explanations below!

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I planted out some of the hardy annuals. The same night, it rained almost 3 inches. We’ll see if anything recovers from the beat down.
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UUUGGGHHH. SHORT TULIPS.
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I’m fairly certain that this “warmer than normal” winter is the reason the tulips are so short. Just to make sure, I even double checked about the tulips I ordered, just to make sure they were supposed to be tall. This might sound silly, but some tulips are shorter than others, so always pay attention to type!
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This color is so pretty. I wish I knew the exact name, but this was in a “mix” bag.
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The larkspur are getting so much taller!
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These tulips are opening before they even poke above the leaves. Talk about a bummer!
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My “fancy” tulips even have short stems! I’ve read that water can be a factor. Flowers need plenty of water about a month or so before blooming. It’s been very wet here, so I doubt this would be my problem.
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I think it’s safe to say it’s been too warm for the tulips when you have COTTON starting to germinate!
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The “Charming Beauty” tulips have another interesting problem in addition to the short stems – I’ll probably post about that, too, eventually.

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An awesome one-woman flower farm, cultivated by the love of all things pretty.

11 Comments

  • MMN

    From what I understand, you’re right on the money — too little cold makes for short tulips.
    I am really really hoping you can help me with a question. So I’m dipping my toes into flower farming as a venture, and next year I’m going to be forcing Darwin tulips, and growing others to order, for my cost, just to see what that would look like if I wanted to try making a go of that.
    I have the luxury of an attached garage and an unheated greenhouse along with several choice spots for burying pots in trenches, so my only real constraint on forcing, time-wise, is acquiring the tulips.
    Okay, so I guess this is two questions — first, how long can you hold tulips in “chill” before they rebel? If I wanted to save some of this year’s order, could I potentially save them for forcing right through ’till the following fall?
    And second — I know that the vast majority of tulips sold here in the US are imported, and the domestic sellers can’t exactly ship out before they receive. But do any of them sell the previous year’s stock? If they did, would it be any good?
    My children’s godfather is head over heels for a woman who adores tulips and was born in October. I would dearly love to surprise him with a big fat armload of them, for her 🙂
    And lastly, thank you so much for all of the information you share here. You’ve been an enormous help!!!

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