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Late bloom: How it's affecting gardeners and tulip display at the Minnesota Arboretum

Some flowers and buds are blooming later than usual because of the late spring.

CHASKA, Minn. — The buds and flowers are late to bloom this year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

At the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the tulips are late to bloom, but horticulturists say the late bloom will likely coincide with Mother’s Day this year.

Mother's Day is one of the year's busiest days at the arboretum.

“We’re expecting a very good bloom starting on Mother’s Day and beyond,” horticulturist Duane Otto says.

Otto designs the tulip display every year.

He says the design process starts a year in advance.

“We talk about different ideas and themes and then I start drawing it out and designing what it will look like. We put the order in for the flowers in the summer and then we put them into the ground usually in September or October,” Otto explains.

Every year Otto creates a unique theme for the tulip display.

The theme this year is diversity.

"I'm showing 135 varieties of tulips this year,” Otto explains.

The display will include a wide array of colors and unique types of tulips.

Otto says growers are always coming up with unique varietals of tulips and it’s fun to see what they come up with each year.

“If the weather cooperates the bloom should last for nearly three weeks. It all depends on the temperature, wind, and the rain,” Otto says.

It’s not just tulips that are late to bloom this year.

Otto says many other species of flowers, plants and trees are late to bloom this spring due to the cold temps we saw in April this year.

He says it will be a fast-paced spring for gardeners because there will be less time to clean up the garden from last year and put in the new plants.

However, he cautions gardeners to not get too ahead of themselves.

"Everybody needs to be careful about putting plants out too early. Right now, you only want to be putting in cold-season plants."

Otto says the late spring shouldn't hurt your trees, but with a few years of drought, he recommends watering your trees if they start to dry out.

And even though many buds and flowers still haven't bloomed yet, don't worry, they're coming.

"We're really moving fast now. We're on a good run. Spring, it's here."

Staff members at the arboretum say they’re expecting to sell out of tickets on Mother’s Day this year.

They recommend buying your tickets early this year.

If you can’t get a ticket, don’t worry, the tulips will be in bloom for several days after Mother’s Day, so there is plenty of time to get out and see them.

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