After all the mid-summer catalogue busywork, the list making, the dreaming in color, the potting soil mess, the ritual chilling of the little bundles of bulbs from September to November like some demented grocer, in other words, the really fun part of the whole tulip affair, some seven months later comes the sober truth. Will they or won’t they bloom?
Which is why I’m suggesting you might want to skip over several of the above steps and just order lots of ‘Queen of the Night.’ Never has this tulip disappointed. The color might be a little stressed this year and veering off its normal rich aubergine due to the unseasonably warm temps we’ve had, but it’s hands down the most reliable tulip for the 6-week prechilling regimen. Just be sure to keep fruit away from the bulbs while in the refrigerator, or the ethylene gas emitted can cause the flower buds to “blast” and not form properly.