Q: Will tulips flower in North Florida? I’d like to plant some bulbs this fall.

A: Some of the northern bulbs are poor performers this far south. Tulips are in this category. It’s not only the lack of sufficient cold weather to meet their requirements for blooming, but the early hot weather of late spring and early summer causes problems for these bulbs. Basically, the warm weather comes in early and causes the leaves to burn down to the ground too early. This greatly weakens the bulb underground to the point where you only get one to possibly three years out of a tulip bulb. Realistically, you’ll only get one decent bloom (the first spring) from tulips this far south. Even in the Atlanta area, most growers will plant tulip bulbs in the fall, get one bloom the following spring, discard the bulbs and start over. They treat them like annuals. This is what I suggest if it’s worth it to you. Daffodils are a little more reliable. However, there are some types of daffodils that do not consistently perform well this far south. There are other types that are more dependable. Contact your UF/IFAS Extension Office in your county for advice on flowering bulbs that perform well in your area.

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