Tulips are the most colorful of all spring flowers. They bloom in as many brilliant colors as a gardener could desire. They are also one of the easiest flowers to grow. Just plant the bulbs in the fall for flowers the following spring. Tulips come in enough colors, shapes, sizes and bloom times to inspire every gardener’s creativity. They can be grown in flowerbeds and borders, in containers and in cutting gardens. Whether you plant them in groups of 10 or 10,000, tulips always put on an impressive show.
To watch our video about How to Plant Tulip Bulbs, click HERE.
STEP 1 - KNOW
START WITH A BETTER BULB
When you compare two tulip bulbs side by side, it's easy to see differences in quality. Bulbs are graded by size, according to the circumference of the bulb. Larger bulbs (shown below) contain more food energy to fuel stronger stems and bigger blooms. Longfield Gardens supplies 12cm+ tulip bulbs so you will always enjoy the biggest, brightest flowers.
STEP 2 - PLAN
SUN AND SHADE: Tulips are remarkably versatile because they will grow in sun, part sun and shade.
ZONE: Tulips are hardy in zones 3-8. To guarantee the best possible results, treat tulips as annuals and plant fresh bulbs every fall. Reference the USDA Hardiness zone map HERE.
WHEN TO PLANT: Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, anytime after the first frost and before the ground freezes.
WHERE TO PLANT TULIPS
ENTRYWAYS & BORDERS: Tulips let you start enjoying a colorful garden long before most other plants have emerged from their winter sleep. Welcome guests by planting a bed of tulips along your front walk or in front yard flower beds.
CUT FLOWER GARDENS: Enjoy the fun of arranging bouquets of tulips for your home or to share with friends. Planting bulbs in a cutting garden make it easier to cut the flowers and bring the freshness of spring indoors.
CURB APPEAL: Increase the WOW factor around your home! Large groups of colorful tulips will attract the admiring eyes of neighbors and everyone who passes by. The more tulips you plant, the better the show.
CONTAINERS & WINDOW BOXES: When fall arrives, fill your pots and planters with tulip bulbs. The bulbs will sleep through the winter months and deliver a burst of spring color. Greigii tulips and double early tulips are especially good for containers.
STEP 3 - GROW
PLANTING IS AS EASY 1-2-3
1. Dig a hole 6" deep.
2. Set the tulip bulb pointy side up in the soil.
3. Cover the bulb with soil and water if the soil is dry.
Planting tulips side by side in a single row makes the flowers look stiff and unnatural. For best results, plant informal groups of 5 or more bulbs. Rectangular, triangular or oval patterns will make the planting look as full as possible and ensure the flowers are visible from all angles.
Tulips should be planted in well-drained soil. Peat moss or compost can be added to improve drainage. Plant the bulbs pointy side up or if you are unsure which end should face up, plant the bulbs on their sides and they will find their way to the sun.
For a vibrant display of spring color, pair tulips with other spring-blooming bulbs such as hyacinths, daffodils, and scilla. Grow a carpet of color beneath your tulips by under-planting them with anemone blanda or muscari, or with early spring annuals such as pansies. Primroses, dicentra, hosta, pulmonaria and other spring-blooming perennials make lovely companions for tulips and will fill in the flower beds once the tulips have finished flowering.
You can stretch the tulip season by planting an assortment of early, mid- and late-blooming tulip varieties. Composing different combinations of flower shapes, sizes, and colors will let you enjoy an ever-changing display of beautiful blooms.
STEP 4 - AFTERCARE
CARING FOR TULIPS AFTER THEY BLOOM
Will your tulips come back to bloom again next year? It depends on the type of tulip and the growing conditions in your garden. If the bulbs do produce another year of flowers, the blossoms may be smaller and fewer in number. The best way to guarantee an impressive display of tulips every spring is to plant fresh bulbs every fall.
Treating your tulips like annuals means that you can simply pull out the entire plant, bulb and all, as soon as the flowers have faded. You can also feel free to cut your tulips for arrangements and enjoy long stems with plenty of foliage. Best of all, every year is a fresh opportunity to enjoy the fun of growing new colors and styles and composing your own unique color combinations.
Here are some tips for getting your tulips to rebloom.
• Plant the bulbs in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Tulip bulbs are dormant during the summer and they prefer resting in warm, dry soil.
• Once the bulbs have finished blooming, remove the spent flower, cutting it about 1” below the bloom.
• Allow the foliage to continue growing. The plant's leaves will help the bulb store energy for the next year's flowers. When the foliage has turned yellow, cut it back to the ground.