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Tulip Bulbs

When to Plant Tulip Bulbs

If you want to fill your garden with color next spring, plant bulbs from October to December. Tulip bulbs can actually be planted right up until Christmas and still flower perfectly well the following spring because they only need a short season of growth.

Where to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Tulips perform best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. Tulips dislike wetness and require well-drained soil. They grow in most soils but if the soil is very dry, plant the bulbs a day after it has rained.

How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Prepare the site by removing any weeds or stones and use a fork or trowel to loosen and aerate the soil. Use a trowel to dig a hole large enough to fit all of the bulbs that you are planting. For large quantities, you may also dig a large bed. The depth of the hole should be twice the length of the bulb itself. Make sure the pointed end of the bulb is up in the ground. In warmer climates plant bulbs deeper than 10 inches; the deeper you plant a tulip, the tougher it will be. Tulips planted deeper have thicker stems and fall over less often. When planting tulips, it is nice to place them close to one another to avoid having them standing by themselves in the spring. This is one flower that always looks better in groups. You can place bulbs as close as six inches away from each other in the ground. A couple of pro tips: 1) alternate rows of early, mid, and late blooming tulips so you may enjoy tulips throughout the entire season! 2) plant tulips later in the season to avoid squirrels' peak gathering time—no one wants to worry about tulips being scavenged!

How to Care for Tulips

Fertilize the bulbs when the foliage pushes through the soil in spring. We recommend a general low-nitrogen organic fertilizer. Remove spent flowers as soon as the bulbs finish blooming. Snapping off the top of the flower stem encourages the plant to send energy into bulb growth rather than seed production. Allow the foliage to wither completely before you remove it. Avoid summer irrigation. Tulips prefer to be dry during their dormancy. Darwin hybrid tulips will bloom the following year and sometimes the third year, but most will need to be replanted year after year.