this spring the tulips planted last year and already flourishing last spring produced many leaves and three small dried up buds that never came to flowering. Why?
the bulbs are plants that, as we all know, have developed underground stems that serve two purposes, or for a sort of asexual propagation, therefore the formation of cloves, which will give rise to new plants, and also to be able to store nutrients to be used in periods with unfavorable climate; in particular, the most cultivated garden bulbs, store nutrients in the bulbs, to be able to use them the following year, since most of these plants produce their own flowers concurrently, or even before, with the production of leaves. Plants develop thanks to chlorophyll photosynthesis, or through leaves; therefore, when a bud is developed while the leaves are in the early stages of development, the plant needs stock nutrients, because in essence it is not "eating", and therefore could not find the energy needed to produce the flower buds anywhere .
For this reason, in order to have beautiful tulip flowers (but also narcissus or hyacinth) next year, it is necessary to provide the correct and better development conditions to the plants already this year.
The key is that the bulbs have a good amount of space available; if we grow them in pots, in autumn it is advisable to remove them from the ground and remove any bulbils, which will be placed in other pots; subsequently the bulbs can be repositioned in the vases, or in full earth, keeping them very spaced. If instead we grow tulips in the open ground, we guarantee them a wide flowerbed, and we fertilize once when they begin to sprout, and then again in autumn; we use a slow release granular fertilizer for bulbous plants or flowering plants, which will guarantee a correct quantity of mineral salts in the soil.
In addition to this, in order to make bulbs grow larger, preparing stocks for the following year, it is essential to let the leaves grow luxuriantly, cultivating them even after flowering, until they naturally dry up; it often happens that the leaves of the bulbous plants are pruned immediately after flowering, when it is believed that the plants are no longer decorative: this operation deprives the plants of every possibility to practice chlorophyll photosynthesis, and therefore to store nutrients in the bulbs.