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by Pratik

I have bought a tulip bulb and planted it in a tub 2 month ago…but the roots are only growing not the stem or any flower. Can you tell me why?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Pratik,

Tulips (Tulipa species) require a cold period where they are allowed to grow their roots before they have a time of dormancy, after which they will send out several leaves and a flower stalk.

If this isn’t happening, there are a few reasons:

First, it didn’t get cool enough for them to perceive it as winter once they had some roots, so they may never bloom.

Second, it may take longer than a couple of months for them to go into growing mode.

Think of how long winter would normally be for them in their native habitat (southern Europe, Turkey and Greece) and try and copy those conditions. The soil is very well drained in those areas, even rocky, with lean topsoil.

If your bulb is showing roots, all may be well, and it just needs more time.

Be patient, and eventually, the shoots of some leaves will sprout, and hopefully a flower.

I would plant the bulb (once it finishes flowering) in the garden or other place to rest (don’t water it at this time) and it will go dormant. The leaves will wither and die back, but next year, it should grow again, with possibly smaller blooms.

I hope this advice helps you to grow the most spectacular tulip bloom ever!