I was asked by a client the other day if we could plant her annual flowers right over her tulips, with the intent to allow the bulbs to ‘multiply’. I had to pass on bad news. Bulbs and annuals don’t play nicey-nice together. At least not with the selection we have here in the Midwest…
- Bulbs should be planted at the correct depth for the bulb. If a bulb is planted too deep, to make room for the annual above, it may not grow.
- Tulip foliage must be allowed to die-back naturally and will make an annual display look a bit messy until the foliage has died back and been removed. If you must prune the leaves back, there’s very little chance you’ll see tulips next Spring.
- Bulbs, tulips in particular, do not multiply*, rather they disintegrate over time in the ground unless removed after the foliage has died back naturally, are stored properly and replanted in the fall. (Side note: Tulips give 3 years of service, in my opinion.)
- Annuals planted over bulbs will remove all the nutrients from the surrounding soil leaving the bulb starved.
- Bulbs need dry conditions, if annuals are planted above bulbs they will rot from the added water annual flowers require.
*Daffodils do multiply, however all the rest of the conditions would not be good for daffodil bulbs either.
© The Naturarian