Tulips Didn't Flower

I planted about 40 tulip bulbs last fall and only about 5 sent up healthy flowers. The other flowers are tiny, shriveled and didn’t emerge from the leaves. Should I dig them up and try again this fall? I think they may have been in mulch rather than soil but don’t know what the problem is.

This happened to me with daffodils this year. I think I planted them 3 years ago and had two nice spring blooms with 40 or so flowers, then this year I got 3 flowers. Maybe we didn’t plant them deep enough? Interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

It’s my understanding that this is normal with the beautiful hybrid tulips, that we get a few years of gorgeous display and then they fade away. The species tulips don’t do that though and might naturalize for you, but they aren’t anywhere nearly as spectacular. I’ve never had this happen with daffodils though.

Sometimes the variety is very sensitive and they come with a virus. Years ago, we had a speaker come and she said to plant the tulips a little on their side so that when it rained the bulb was not filling with water and then rotting. If you buy the old fashion tulips (usually red or yellow), they seems to come back year after year - I have some in the garden over 10 years old that bloom incredible every year. We will see what the bulbs do that I planted this year purchased from the club, come next Spring.

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Thank you all for your responses! I’ll give them one more year, maybe taking away some of the mulch. Also I’ll dig one or two up and see if the bulbs have rotted.

If you have fancy ones they are very much liked by the Narcissus Root Fly, which actually destroy the bulb.

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