Question: I planted tulip bulbs a few years ago and they grew very nicely. This year only a few leaves appeared, and no blossoms. Why did this happen?
Answer: Perhaps a gopher nibbled on the main part of the bulb, and the bulb became deformed and only partially blossomed. Also, many times tulip bulbs get too old to stay in the true form they were in when first planted.
Either way, I would plant new bulbs next to the old and use the leafing tulips to "fill in" the bulb area.
Polk County is fortunate because in some areas of the United States gardeners must dig tulip bulbs up after they flower because the bulbs will rot in the soil.
Full Circle appears in the Itemizer-Observer on the last Wednesday of each month.