Q:

What should I do with my drooping tulips?

A:

Wilting is a necessary part of the life span of a tulip, but overwatering and poor drainage can cause the tulip to wilt in an untimely fashion. Altering the size of the tulip plant can reduce the appearance of wilting, and eliminating insect pests can stop the tulip from wilting.

As the tulip wilts from its normal life cycle, foliage should not be removed until it turns completely brown. This allows nutrients to return to the bloom before the next blooming in spring. Tulips must be placed in pots with drainage holes to prevent inadequate draining that may cause the blooms to wilt. Tulips should only be watered if the top inch of the soil is dry, and water must never sit under the pot in the water-catch tray.

Direct sunlight also causes tulips to wilt; placing them in a partially shaded environment in warm climates prevents wilting. Tulips that grow close to 2 feet in height may bend under the weight, giving the appearance of wilting. Reducing the size of the tulip can help avoid the appearance of wilting blooms.

Aphids drain sap from the leaves and stem of a tulip; mites and bulb flies damage bulbs under the soil and slugs and snails eat tulip plants. Placing snail-and-slug bait outside of the container deters insects that cause wilting.


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