13 Tips for Planting Tulips

Apr 27, 2012 by


how to plant tulipsTulips are definitely one of my favorite flowers. Tulips are one of the first flowers to come up in the spring, and one of the most beautiful. I love tulips because you can plant them deep and then forget about them. They will come up in the spring every year, and look beautiful year after year if you take care of them. The following information is a must read for people who have any questions about tulips and how to take care of them.

How to Plant a Tulip Bulb?

Most tulips should be planted 6 to 8 inches below the surface of the soil. The larger bulbs can be planted up to 12 inches below the soil surface. If you are planning on keeping your bulbs for several years, you may want to plan them 9 to 12 inches below the surface of the soil. This way, they don’t have to be separated or dug up as often. At a deeper depth, they will have access to more of the soil nutrients, and they’ll have less competition from smaller bulbs, because a lot of these smaller bulbs won’t be able to grow all the way to the surface. The best type of soil for tulips is loamy, well-drained soil. New buds tend to do really well when they are 3-4 inches below the surface of the soil, the depth at which you plant depends on the size of the bulb.


When Is the Best Time to Plant Tulips?

The best time for planting tulip bulbs is between 1 October and 15 November. If you wait too long to plant them, then you won’t get a very large bulb. You can plant them in December and January and still get a flower, but the flower will be smaller. Bulbs planted after January, probably won’t produce a flower at all. If you are going to transplant and move your tulips from one part of your garden to the other, you want to do this before 1 October. After the beginning of October, the roots will grow very fast until the frost sets in.

How to Fertilize Tulips?

how to plant tulip bulbsThe best way to fertilize so that you get better flowers, is to use super-potassium. You can also fertilize with diluted and dried manure. The best time to fertilizer bulbs is in September. You want to apply 5 pounds of 4–8–4 or 5–10–5 fertilizer per 100 ft.² of bed. After fertilizing, make sure to water so that the fertilizer can get down to where the roots are. Fertilizing in the fall will give you good bulbs in the spring. It is also a good idea to use a bit of fertilizer before the bulbs open up in the early spring.

How to Get Large Tulip Flowers?

If you are planting smaller bulbs that don’t give you very good flowers, one way to get larger flowers is to make sure that they are separated, and they are in very fertile soil. When the bloom comes up in the early spring, you want to cut off the bud before it blooms. This will help the plant to conserve its energy, and hopefully you’ll get a much bigger bloom the following year. Another way is to make sure to fertilize your tulip bulbs in the fall. If you want large tulip flowers and you are just starting into the garden, try to buy the largest bulbs that you can find. Tulip bulbs tend to get smaller every year, so if you treat your tulips as an annual, you can have large tulip flowers by taking the time to dig out and replace the old bulbs with new ones every fall.

What are Some Common Tulip Diseases?

Tulip diseases include shrinking, root rot, Mosaic, fire blight, and bulb rot (10,000 Gardening Questions Answered, American Garden Guild, 1974). The best way to keep your tulips from being attacked by diseases is to make sure they’re in an area where the soil drains well. Also, try to separate your tulip bulbs every few years. If you develop a tulip disease in one area of your garden, transplant your tulips to a different area. Make sure to throw away or burn all bulbs that you think might be affected by the disease. Tulips are often used by rodents such as mice, squirrels and even goffers. Sometimes it works to plant them under wire mesh. Sometimes you can have a pet cat that will help to keep them away. Most of the time, you just want to work to try to prevent the diseases. Once a particular area of your garden is affected by a tulip disease, don’t plant your tulips there again for several years.

How to Prevent Tulips from Being Damaged by Winter Frost?

One way to prevent tulips from being damaged by frost is to plant them deep in the soil. If you plant large tulips 9 to 12 inches below the surface of the soil, then there is little chance that they get damaged by frost. Tulips planted less than 6 inches from the surface are very likely to be damaged. Using straw to cover your garden is a good way to protect the bulbs over the winter. In order for frost to destroy the tulip, the ground has to become frozen hard.

What Are the Most Common Types of Tulips?

how to plant a tulip gardenThere are many different types of tulips. One known as ‘Red Emperor’ is very large and has a bright red flower. Other types of tulips include Darwin tulips, Breeder, Parrot, Cottage, Double Early Tulips, Crystal Tulips, and Early Flowering. Each of these varieties has a slightly different bloom time, so plant a few different varieties in your garden. You can have tulips bloom for 3 to 4 months.

How to Store “Forced” Tulips

Forced tulips are essentially grown in a pot and not outdoors. Tulips that are grown in a pot don’t typically do very well when transplanted. The best time to transplant them is right after the winter. Make sure you put them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and has fertile soil. It may take a few years to get these transplanted forced tulips to have large blooms. The best way to do this would be to cut off the bud right after it changes color, but before it blooms. This will help to conserve the energy and you will get a larger bloom the next year. If you are storing them indoors over the winter, you want to make sure that they get some water so that they don’t dry out. This will help to keep the roots alive. If you transplant them in the early spring, don’t expect to get a bloom from them during the first year.

What Types of Soil Are the Best for Planting Tulips?

When you’re planting tulips, you want to have soil that drains easily. This will help prevent your tulips from getting diseases. In addition, you’ll want to have loamy soil that is easy for the tulip roots to grow in. When soils are hard, it makes it very difficult for tulips to develop properly. Soils that are rich in potassium tend to produce the largest flowers.

Can You Start a Tulip from a Seed?

Yes, you can start a tulip from seeds, but it is actually very difficult to do. It can also take three years for your tulip plant to develop its first flower. It requires a lot of patience and a couple of years to get a new type of tulip produced. This should only be attempted by breeders or people who are very interested in the process. And if you want to have a large tulip, it could take 5 to 7 years. Breeders do this all the time, and they use it to create new varieties of tulips. Most of the time however, when people are starting tulips to resell, they will just use existing small bulbs, because the process is much faster. If you cut the flowers off right before they bloom, then your tulip can get bigger. If they are well taken care of, then the bulbs will continue to get bigger from year to year until they reach maturity. Most of the tulips that you buy at the store, are going to give you big tulip bulbs when planted. However, each year after that, the flowers and the bulbs will get smaller and smaller.

Is Manure Good for Tulips?

how to start a tulip gardenManure is good for tulips, as long as it doesn’t come into direct contact with them. Also you want to make sure that your manure doesn’t carry any bacteria that can infect the tulips. The best way to use manure is to mix it in at the bottom of your lower bed. Then, put a covering over the manure and plant your bulbs on top of that. Make sure to add 6 to 8 inches of soil on top of the new bulbs as well. You can also add super potassium so that you can get larger bulbs and bigger flowers

Is It a Good Idea to Store Tulips over the Winter?

No, it is not a good idea to store tulips over the winter. Most tulips will not last more than 6 to 8 months. The longer you store, the less likely they are to bloom. When you store tulips, you need to make sure that they do not dry out. Also you should probably store them at a cool temperature that is above freezing. Generally about 40°F is a good temperature to store tulips at.

Where Do Tulips Come From?

Even though a lot of people believe that tulips came from Holland, this is only partially true. Tulips were actually known to be growing in the gardens at Constantinople hundreds of years earlier. The Dutch were the first people to market tulips and sell them on a grand scale. Most of the tulips that we have today are directly related to the ones grown in Holland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, tulips grow all over the world.


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