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Why do my tulips only have leaves but no flowers this year

Updated on May 1, 2012

It's a very sad thing when you are expecting to see beautiful tulips flowers and what you can only see are green spout of leaves. Why tulips did not bloom this year? Not because tulips bloom last year, it will automatically bloom again this year. Tulips flowers are greatly affected by it's condition the last time it spout leaves and flower. When tulips return back to its dormancy while it's healthy and have stored enough energy, it will bloom again the following year.

The most possible and unforeseen reasons why tulips did not bloom.

  1. Soil Condition

    Soil rich in nitrogen will help your tulips to have plenty of leaves but with no flower. In order to have beautiful flowers, use soil that are rich in phosphorous. Like Nitrogen and Phosphorous, Potassium can also be found on fertilizer but it is necessary for the overall health of plants. Cow manure is an example of low nitrogen fertilizer which is good for flowering plants. If you plant tulips bulb slightly late on season, you can put nitrogen fertilizer on the soil after you notice the first spout of leaves to speed up the production of leaves and flower.

  2. Bulb Condition

    Unhealthy bulb will grow but it will not produce flowers every year. To support the healthy bulb condition of tulips, you must let the leaves turn yellow and die naturally. Leaves produces photosynthesis that transfer and stored energy to the bulb enabling the bulb to produce flower next year.

  3. Location

    Tulips prefer full sun exposure with well-drained soil like rockery areas. Wet soil can produce fungus and may rot the bulbs. Do not plant tulips under the shade or in other areas that they will not have enough sun exposure. If possible you can plant them in front of your garden to have full-time sun exposure. Plant the bulbs at least 3 times of their height to make the bulbs tougher. Bulbs planted deeper produces large and thicker stems.

  4. Tulips produce seeds

    If your tulips produce seeds, it may not have enough energy to bloom next year. To prevent your tulips from producing seeds, cut off faded tulip flowers stem up to the base so all the energy it will produce will go to the bulb.

  5. Bulb Dormancy

    During summer Tulips want to go dormant, do not water them or any plants above them. If you water the bulbs, you will prevent them on blooming next spring.

Tulips Bulb that are planted close to each other looks more beautiful than those tulips that are standing alone in spring. When planting tulips, place their bulbs six inches away from each other pointing their end up in the ground. Tulips prefer well-drained soil, you may want to test and see first if the water are drained quickly and the bulb area are not wet for a long time.

Tulips are very beautiful flower, it reminds us of the spring. If you have taken good care of your tulips, it will continue producing flowers up to 5 years though the flowers will decrease year after year.


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    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Wow this is very interesting your hub, one of my fave flower is Tulip too.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I was told the same information about the soil when my iris didn't bloom well the last two years. I know how disappointing it is.

      Any other tips for iris?