|These 'Don Quichotte' tulips in my pond gardens are the worst-hit ones. Why is this happening?|
Yes, the name of this post sounds like the title of a mystery novel, doesn't it? But it's a real-life mystery to me why some of my tulips are suddenly drooping over (and others are not). I thought I might show my problem and ask if any readers have ever experienced this, and what might have caused it.
The temperature did get down to 28 degrees F (-2 degrees C) about a week and a half ago. Perhaps the stems froze and only a week later they began to droop as the tulips became past their prime. However, some tulips were much later than others to bloom, only starting a day or so ago and some have been blooming for weeks, and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between bloom date and drooping.
Another possible explanation is that the farmer who farms the fields around us was out spraying the fields with Roundup and 2,4-D on Thursday -- could some of the spray have drifted over and damaged the tulips? (He is sympathetic to my gardens: he was careful not to spray the edge next to our orchard because the wind was blowing in that direction, but it's possible that even from some distance the spray could have been enough to do them in.) However, not all the tulips in a given area are affected (at least not yet).
And I did spray most of my tulips with Deer Stopper, a spray containing mint and rosemary oils together with "putrid egg solids." (It really smells OK to me, like mint, not like foul rotten eggs, and it does seem to work pretty well.) But I guess it's possible some ingredient damaged them, although a Google search doesn't turn up any complaints about it.
It's also possible that because the deer did munch some tulip foliage before the buds formed, that affected them. But some of the droopy tulips are in areas where the deer did not get to them.
I understand that gardening is filled with unknowns, mystifying problems that afflict our gardens, and mysterious plant deaths. I get this. But I'd still like to know why this has happened (it hasn't happened before, at least not in the last five years or so).
Here are a few shots of the problem:
|'White Triumphator.' Not looking so triumphant these days....|
|Pink tulips in the North Border. Very sad.|
|These 'Conqueror' tulips in the Yellow Garden are drooping, but the ones at the end of the path ('Golden Apeldoorn,' 'Kikomachi,' and 'Jaap Groot') still look fine. Hmmm.|
|More 'White Triumphator' in the White Garden.|
|These 'Spring Green' are truly a sad sight.|
|But these mixed Darwin Hybrid tulips in the Mint Circle are still upright (if almost done blooming).|
|And these 'Ollioles' inside my fence are fine too, as are a number of other tulips throughout my gardens.|
It's a grave mystery. Has this happened to any of you? Thanks for reading and for your advice! -Beth