Tulipa sprengeri was growing species tulips from seed

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sat, 16 Nov 2013 09:26:44 PST
That's a great article about Tulipa sprengeri. Maggi, we all 
appreciate your including links to the International Rock Gardener 
and that the Scottish Rock Garden Society is willing to share it with everyone.

Since Rodger has continued to praise this tulip over the years I have 
broken the Tony Avent rule and have started it four times from seed 
starting in 1999.  As the article noted, it is frequently listed in 
seed exchanges so not hard to obtain the seed. Obviously it blooms 
for a lot of people and sets seed. The last time I tried was in 2007 
and I have done better with this batch so perhaps my skill is 
improving.  But it hasn't bloomed and I was heartened by Rodger 
saying it takes 7 years to bloom and now discouraged to read that it 
only takes four years from seed to bloom. Since I prechill the tulips 
I grow every year since it doesn't get very cold here and otherwise 
they don't bloom, I've never been sure what to do with seedlings and 
have just left them  in the pots in the shade until they were bigger 
so perhaps that too could be a problem. This year the sprengeri bulbs 
I still have left (the survival rate has not been good) are in the 
refrigerator with the rest of my tulips, but they are very small. 
Even the species tulips that are supposed to bloom in the ground in 
California I haven't been able to get to bloom for more than a year 
or two once they get planted out. I suspect too that I've been 
puzzled by this species since it is one of the last to appear and is 
still growing when the others are dying back so perhaps I've not kept 
watering it long enough as the rainfall diminishes in spring. Rodger, 
I'm envious of your having this plant bloom and seed about and look 
forward to the day I'll get it to bloom.

Note that my signature this year is a bit inaccurate as it has been 
extremely dry and I'm getting a chance to experience what it normally 
is like in Southern California. If I lived there, I'd be 
growing  even more Oxalis as they have been amazing this year!

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

More information about the pbs mailing list