How and When to Plant Tulips

Even if you have plenty of winter-friendly plants in your garden, the dark months can seem endless. am!

Elegant spring flowers with a stately presence add vivid color and splendor to flower beds of various sizes. “It comes in a variety of colors, flowering times, and heights from 4 to 30 inches,” says Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms, CEO of John Scheepers Beauty from Bulbs and Van Engelen Wholesale Flower Bulbs. “With so many tulips available, changing the display can keep the garden fresh and interesting from year to year.”

Here’s what else you should know about how and when to plant tulip bulbs.

What kind of tulips should I grow?

One way to classify tulips is by flowering time and duration. Therefore, you can find early, medium and late tulips. We recommend planting a variety of varieties for maximum effectiveness throughout the season.

They are also categorized by appearance. For example, parrot tulips have fringed or scalloped petals and bright colors (like exotic birds), while lily tulips are shaped more like lilies than classic tulip flowers. . Choose traditional or exotic flowers, it’s up to you!

Helen Willow///Getty Images

Are tulips perennials?

“Tulips are not perennials by nature,” says van den Berg Ohms. “Some varieties may return next year, but the flowers will be less spectacular, fewer in number, and eventually die.” If so, consider Giant Darwin hybrids, which are more likely to come back than other types due to their strong genetics in breeding. They are more likely to return than other bulbs, but not always.

Other types of tulip bulbs are “naturalized”. That is, the plant produces offspring or bulbs from the mother bulb. For the most part, only species tulips (as opposed to hybrid he tulips) do this, and only if they are happy and in a good place, says van den Berg-Ohms.

If you want to give the plant the best shot at coming back, you can increase its chances by letting it die off on its own until the stems and leaves are rake. Do not cut back prematurely. Leaves need to maximize the production of chlorophyll through photosynthesis in order to put energy into flowering next year.

Macro image of tulip corm bulbs on a wooden greenhouse table, ready to leave for the garden

© Jackie Bale///Getty Images

When should I plant tulips?

While it may be tempting to add “planting tulips” to your spring gardening list, it’s not really the time to plant bulbs. Tulips need to be chilled for 10-14 weeks, or at low temperatures, blooms well. This means it tends to grow best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7 (find your zone here).

Tulips are on sale everywhere in the fall, but if you’re looking for a particular type, color, or shape, it’s wise to pre-order online from a specialty nursery. have and usually keep your bulbs for shipping until it is time to plant them in your area. . When it comes to tulip bulbs, size matters, says van den Bergohms. (Bulb size is usually listed in the description.)

Like other spring-flowering bulbs, plant tulips in the fall when the ground is about 55°F. Depending on where you live, it’s usually mid to late fall.

The basic rule is Plants after two weeks of nighttime temperatures in the 40ssays van den can If you forgot to plant them or weren’t able to plant them in the fall, plant them later as long as you can dig them into the ground. However, if done after January, the bulbs will not have enough cooling time to flower.

How to plant tulips?

For starters, try to plant the bulbs together instead of planting one bulb here and another. This will give you the most visual impact. Find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day. Some shade is fine and helps tulips last longer in warmer climates, but too much shade stunts growth.

Plant each type at the recommended depth. The package should state what it is, but generally most hybrid tulips should be planted about 6 to 8 inches deep, and seed tulips about 4 to 6 inches deep.

Use a trowel to dig holes, or if you’re working in a large area, use a hoe or plow tool to make furrows. Either way, plan to plant your tulips directly into the ground. Bulbs aren’t protected from temperature spikes, so they tend not to do well in pots, which I don’t like.

Cover and compact the bulbs with soil, then apply granular organic fertilizer such as 5-10-5 or 4-10-6 (here’s how to understand fertilizer numbers) as if you were scattering bird seed. Spray it on the surface like so. According to van den Berg-Ohms, feeding now promotes the development of a mature root system. Feed again in the spring when new shoots appear. Finally, for types that the bulbs may come back, fertilize one last time when the flowers begin to die (this is not the case for types that the bulbs completed in one season). .

How to protect tulips from mice?

Unfortunately, many rodents such as chipmunks, moles, voles, and squirrels find the tulip bulbs irresistible and eat them, leaving nothing to bloom the following can trial You can either put them in a “cage” made of chicken wire in the ground to protect them, or you can place the chicken wire above the planting area.

You can also plant bad-tasting bulbs such as daffodils and leeks that rodents don’t like around tulip bulbs and discard them. You may need to reapply after

In all honesty, some rodents simply relax and eat the bulb. Good luck and try to plant more than you need. And remember: this is just what nature does. (Here are 50 meditation quotes to help you find inner peace.)

If tulips alone don’t do the trick, try planting bulbs like snowdrops, daffodils, leeks, and hyacinths.

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Arricca SanSone writes on health and lifestyle topics such as prevention, country living and women’s day. Her passions include gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with her loved ones and dogs.

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