Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Tulips (Infographic)

Tulips (Tulipa species) are beautiful flowering bulbs. World-renowned for their colorful blossoms, tulips are easy-to-grow perennial flowering bulbs. They will come back year after year without much effort from the gardener. Perfect for the lazy gardener. Here are tips on how to grow tulips in your garden.

Tulips Infographic

Tulips Infographic
Tulips Infographic

6 Tips on How to Grow Tulips

1. Your Tulips are Happiest in Full Sun 

Tulips are sun-loving. For beautiful blooms, your tulips need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

2. Get the Soil Right for Your Tulips

Tulips need to be planted in well-drained soil, preferably with a pH of 6-6.5. .

3. Get the Watering Frequency Right for Your Tulips

Water your tulips in the Spring. When you water your tulips, avoid watering from the top, don’t wet the petals, since it will cause the petals to burn and spot. Don’t water your tulips in the summer. They need dry conditions during dormancy. Regular rainwater is sufficient.

4. Fertilize Your Tulips

You should fertilize your tulips in the early Spring when the shoots emerge. Fertilize again in the Fall before the first snowfall.  For newly planted tulips, fertilize at planting and then again in the early Spring.

5. Don’t forget to Prune Your Tulips After They Bloom

After your tulips have bloomed, you should deadhead your tulips. You deadhead by cutting off the top 3 inches of the flower stem. Make sure you cut below the seed capsule. Don’t cut the yellowing leaves though. Leave the foliage for at least 6 more weeks, until it turns brown and withers completely. 

The reason why you don’t cut off tulips’ leaves is that it is still continuing to absorb moisture and sunlight to feed the bulb. You need the bulb fed so it will bloom nicely the following year. If there are bulbs that failed to bloom, you can remove them and plant fresh bulbs in the Fall.

6. Your Tulips are Irresistible to Deer

Deer and squirrels love to munch on tulip bulbs. To prevent them from wreaking havoc on your tulips, you can plant tulip bulbs near Daffodils (deer and squirrels dislike daffodils). You can also try sprinkling bone meal around the bulb plantings. Another deer and squirrel deterrent is to lay sheets of chicken wire (1-inch opening) over the bulbs. This will prevent your garden critters from getting to your tulip bulbs.

Facts About Tulips 

Botanical NameTulipa species
Sun or ShadeFull Sun
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorMany Colors- Pink, Yellow, Orange, Red and More
Height14-30 inches
Deer Resistant?No
Tulips Facts

Tips for Planting Your Tulips

Where is the Best Place to Plant Tulips?

Plant tulips in full sun locations. They will bloom best in a sunny location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight. Plant in soil with good drainage, preferably with a pH level of 6-6.5. 

How to Plant Tulips?

Before planting your tulips, you need to prepare the soil first. Prepare the soil by adding compost and bulb fertilizer. Then loosen and aerate the soil to 8 inches below the surface. Use a bulb planter tool to make planting your bulbs easier. Plant at least 8 inches deep if you have deer, squirrels, and rabbits in your garden.

When is the Best Time to Plant Tulips?

The best time to plant your tulips is in the Fall. However, if you purchased bulbs on sale late in the season, you can still plant your tulips, as long as you plant them right before the soil freezes.

How Many Tulip Bulbs to Plant in a Flower Bed?

You can plant 5 Tulip bulbs per square foot. 

How Deep Should You Plant Your Tulips?

You should plant your Tulip bulbs at least 5 inches deep. If you have deer, squirrels, and rabbits, plant your tulips 4 times your bulb height or at least 8 inches deep.

Tulips: Frequently Asked Questions

What Fertilizer Should You Use on Your Tulips?

Use a fertilizer formulated specifically for bulbs and bonemeal on your tulips. 

How Big Do Your Tulips Get?

Tulips can grow to 14-30 inches

How to Choose Healthy Tulip Bulbs to Plant?

Don’t plant bad tulip bulbs. Only plant healthy tulip bulbs to ensure you have blooming success. Bad tulip bulbs float in water while healthy bulbs will sink. Also, inspect your tulip bulb to make sure the papery outer covering is intact. 

What are the Common Problems that afflict Tulips?

Common problems for your tulips are Blight, viruses, and Aphids. If you see streaks on the foliage, sickly stems, or spots on the leaves and flowers, then your tulips might be afflicted with blight or virus. Simply remove the infected tulips. If you see tiny aphids on your tulips, spray your tulips with water to remove the aphids.

You May Also Be Interested in These Easy to Grow Flowering Plants:

Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Peonies

Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Tulips (Infographic)

12 Easy to Grow Flowers for the Lazy Gardener

Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Irises

Lazy Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Hydrangeas (Infographic)

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