Turn your flower garden into a tulip festival! Gardening experts from Thanksgiving Point, share trade secrets, to help you create a brilliant, botanical display in your own yard. Visit Thanksgiving Point’s annual Tulip Festival for extra inspiration!
Tony Latimer, Horticulture Manager at Thanksgiving Point, says it’s not too late to rescue tulips from our wet weather.
Watch for (and Remove) Unhealthy Plants
The 2011 wet season this spring has created an uncommon problem in Utah’s tulips: Botrytis blight, also called tulip fire, or tulip blight. Leaves with this fungus have small, slightly sunken oval spots with a dark edge. In moist weather conditions, the fungus produces large numbers of spores, causing a grayish mold to appear and are spread to neighboring tulips by air currents. Diseased plants should be removed as soon as symptoms are noticed. Working during dry conditions will help reduce the risk of spreading the disease. You can also apply a fungicide when tulip leaves emerge from the soil. Follow up by spraying several times until the bloom stage.
Deadhead Spent Blooms
Deadheading just means pruning, or removing the spent remainder of a tulip blossom from the stem of a tulip plant. We do this because when tulip petals fall from the flower, they leave behind a seed pod on the stem. The plant continues to feed its seed pod with nutrients from the soil and since a tulip won’t bloom again, its seed pod robs the bulb of energy needed to regenerate.
To deadhead, begin after all of a tulip’s petals have fallen off or are ready to fall off. To test if a tulip is spent, tap the petals lightly with your finger. If you gently push on the petal and it falls off, it is okay to deadhead the tulip. Then, simply take a pair of garden shears and snip off the seed pod about one inch below the pod on the tulip stem.
Create Visual Variety with Different Tulips
Thanksgiving Point uses different varieties of tulips that have different looks, colors and blooming periods to create a long-lasting, visually striking botanical event. Research the colors and varieties you like and plant them so when one variety is done blooming, the next is ready to begin.
Thanksgiving Point hosts Utah’s only annual Tulip Festival, April 15 – May 7, featuring more than 250,000 tulips in nearly 100 unique varieties. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm. For more information, visit www.thanksgivingpoint.org or call 801.768.2300.