Tall, colorful tulips are a great way to bring big splashes of color and personality to your landscaping, heralding in the spring season of renewal and rebirth. They are available in a large array of colors, patterns, and sizes, making them a versatile and desirable addition to any garden. Growing tulips isn’t only for the seasoned gardener.
With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can be enjoying some big gorgeous tulips in no time at all. Here are several items to consider when adding to tulips to your landscape.
Make sure to plant your bulbs in the fall. The time spent in the ground throughout the cold winter is necessary to bring on large healthy foliage in the spring. Planting early enough in the fall will give your bulbs sufficient time to establish strong roots before they go dormant throughout the colder winter months.
A general rule of thumb is to plant your bulbs approximately 6 weeks before the first hard frost in your area.
Second, the condition of your soil is directly connected to the health and vitality of your tulips. Drainage conditions in the soil is what you need to think about here – tulips thrive in soil that has excellent drainage. These plants are sensitive to standing water so before planting any fall bulbs make sure that the soil drains well and is not heavily compacted.
Third, planting directions should be closely followed in order to give your plants enough room to grow and thrive. In general, tulips bulbs should be planted about 5” deep and, depending on the size of the mature plant, 3-6” apart. Additionally, it may sound a little silly, but make sure that the bulb is planted with the pointed side facing up so that your tulips grow up towards the surface!
Fourth, excess water is really the death of tulips! Freshly planted bulbs need to be water right after planting in order to activate growth, but after that you should never intentionally or directly water your tulips beds. The bulbs and roots of the tulip are very susceptible to rot and disease when exposed to too much water so only give these hardy plants a little drink of water if you are experiencing a prolonged dry spell or drought conditions.
Finally, once you have enjoyed a season of growing tulips blooms resist the urge to cut the plants back too early. The foliage and leaves should be left intact until they naturally die off in order to preserve as much energy and growing power in the roots and bulb for the next growing season. Since tulips are perennials, with proper planting and care you can continue to enjoy these beautiful blossoms year after year.