In March, a cluster of crimson tulips behind a bed of pansies in bloom may truly stop traffic. As springtime approaches, apartment and office buildings use hybrid tulips to highlight their environments.
For ages, tall tulips have been crossed to create their vibrant red, orange, yellow, and purple hues. The alleged hybrid tulips were created by crossing wild tulips “Tulip species. Tulips come in more than a dozen different species. Compared to hybrid tulips, they have substantially smaller blooms and leaves. The fact that the species tulips can flourish in the South year after year is a huge benefit.
After flowering, hybrid tulips need three months of moderate weather and strong sunshine. The sun’s energy is captured by the leaves, which then grow the following year’s bloom. After tulip bloom, there is only a brief period of chilly weather in the South. Sometimes a bed of tulips that flowered one year would only produce half of its flowers the following year. Hybrid tulips’ lifespan can be extended with the right location and proper care, but this is infrequently the case. It is better to treat hybrid tulips as annual flowers and toss the bulbs after each spring’s bloom.
Species tulips, on the other hand, have a more resilient nature. They prefer well-drained beds with partial or full sun exposure. Three varieties of tulips are suggested by staff members at the Atlanta Botanical Garden: Tulipa clusiana, Tulipa tarda, and Tulipa kaufmanniana ” (in particular “Red Riding Hood). In their experience, if planted in the right location, these grow and return year after year.
Tulips are planted in the late fall, after the earth has cooled, both species and hybrid varieties. A loose, well-drained planting bed should be used, and the bulbs should be buried 4 to 6 inches deep. The species tulips look best at the front of a tiny perennial bed or in a rock garden because of their modest size. During least twice a year, in the fall (or at planting) and in the spring (when the new shoots emerge), fertilizer should be applied to tulips. Bone meal is preferable to commercial bulb fertilizers (or 8-8-8) when applied at a rate of 1 rounded Tablespoon per square foot. Hybrid tulips will last longer if they receive good plant nourishment and have their bloom stems cut off when they start to fade.
Try planting early-flowering tulips and pulling the blossoms out right away, advises Cheryl Aldrich at Hastings Garden Center. These will thus receive sunshine for a longer period of time than later flowered cultivars.
The majority of Atlanta gardeners have learned that tulips only bloom for a few years. What a letdown that these vibrant springtime signs are often a yearly purchase!
August De Hertogh, a professor of horticulture at North Carolina State University, has some excellent news to share right now. He claims to be familiar with a garden in Raleigh where, 28 years after being planted, the tulips are still in bloom. Dr. De Hertogh asserts that a soil that is utterly well drained is necessary for repeat flowering. Add compost or manure to a depth of 12 inches if the soil is clayey. Make sure the pH of the soil is between 6 and 7. Have the soil tested.
Additionally, the location needs to be exposed to the sun for at least five hours per day, especially in the morning. De Hertogh advises planting the bulbs eight inches deep and covering them with perennials because the bulbs shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures above 70 degrees. The perennial foliage will provide shade, keeping the soil cool in the heat. Three to four pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer per 100 square feet are required for tulip bulb planting, and an additional two pounds are required before the bulbs bloom.
Some tulips can be counted on to endure longer than others, according to Dr. De Hertogh. ‘Parade’ and ‘Golden Parade’, ‘Oxford’ and ‘Golden Oxford’, ‘Don Quichotte’ and ‘Jewel of Spring’ are a few of his favorites.
A pot of tulips was something I recently brought to my wife when she was in the hospital. They are currently disappearing quickly. Is there a way to save the plants so I can plant them again in the spring?
A: You can plant them without a problem, but they won’t likely blossom again. To support future blooms, all bulbs rely on their leaves to capture the sun’s energy. After blooming in the spring, tulips need their leaves to remain healthy and green for at least two months. Yours had to bloom during the wrong season. After the blossoms disappear, the leaves in a small pot will start to swiftly turn yellow. They deserve a special spot in your compost pile.
We simply get too hot in May for outside tulips to maintain their foliage for the required amount of time, even in a garden setting. According to my friend Erica Glasener,’species’ tulips are more likely to bloom year after year in the same area than the vivid hybrid tulips we enjoy each spring. She mentions several potential candidates, including Tulipa bakeri, Tulipa clusiana var.chrysantha, Tulipa gregii, Tulipa kaufmanniana, Tulipa tarda, and Tulipa turkestanica. Atlanta has a few garden centers that sell species tulips, but specialty bulb catalogs provide a larger variety.
In Georgia, when should I plant tulip bulbs?
Bulb planting season is in the fall. In the majority of Georgia’s regions, spring-flowering bulbs can be planted from October through late December. If you can’t plant the bulbs right away, keep them in a dry place at a temperature of around 60 to 65 degrees F. The flower buds may be harmed by temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be preferable to pre-cool some bulbs in regions of the state that experience exceptionally mild winters. Before planting, most spring-flowering bulbs need a 12–16 week cold spell in vented packaging at 40–50 degrees F in the bottom of your refrigerator. To find out whether the bulbs you buy have been pre-cooled or if you would need to give them a cold treatment, check with your bulb provider.
After the risk of frost has passed, spring is the time to sow summer-flowering bulbs.
Bulb growth depends greatly on planting depth and spacing. A standard guideline for planting depth is two to three times the greatest diameter for bulbs with a diameter of 2 inches or more and three to four times the greatest diameter for smaller bulbs (measured from the top of the bulb to the soil surface).
The spacing will range from one to two inches to several feet. Consider both the amount of area each plant requires when placing bulbs and how often they will be dug out and divided. Think about the landscape effect as well. Avoid sporadic or line-out setups. To generate a lifelike aspect, it is occasionally advised to scatter bulbs over the planting area; this is not a good idea, though, as the bulbs could be damaged if dropped or thrown.
Rhizomes and tuberous roots are typically planted on their sides, so put the bulbs upright and carefully pack the soil around them. To aid in soil stabilization, thoroughly water the beds.
Which month is ideal for tulip planting?
- Use chicken wire to cover planting holes, a fence, repellant spray, or container gardening to keep animals away.
Is there anything happier than a large tulip field blooming in the spring? The profusion of vibrant blossoms is a sight for sore eyes after a protracted winter of cold and snow. You may build and enjoy a robust tulip show in your own yard with these tactics and pointers.
How to Choose Tulips
Hybrid tulips make up the majority of the tulips you see in landscape plantings, as well as those offered for sale at garden centers and home improvement shops. For the greatest impact, hybrid tulips normally need to be replaced every year. (We’ll cover how to persuade them to return below.) When given the proper growing circumstances, species tulips will return year after year in zones 4 to 7. These have smaller flowers and pointier petals than hybrid tulips, and they are shorter.
Individual tulips don’t flower for very long, especially the hybrids. However, there are types that bloom in the early, mid, and late seasons at various periods. When buying, choose a couple cultivars from each bloom time category for a long-lasting display.
Where to Plant Tulips
For the best show, tulips need full sun, which entails at least six hours every day of bright, direct sunlight. They are also great additions to rock gardens since they favor quick-draining soil.
When to Plant Tulips
Fall is the best time to plant tulip bulbs. Prior to planting, the soil must have cooled from the summer growing season, which could occur in September in cold regions (zones 3 to 5), October in transitional temperatures (zones 6 to 7), and November or December in warm areas (zones 8 to 9). Use a soil thermometer to measure the soil’s temperature, and plant when it reaches 60 degrees F at a depth of 6 inches.
For tulips to bloom, they need to be chilled. Buy pre-cooled bulbs and plant them in December if you intend to grow tulips where the soil temperature won’t fall below 60 degrees for at least 12 weeks.
How to Prepare the Soil for Planting Tulips
Use Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flowers to prepare the planting space for tulips by incorporating 3 inches of garden soil into the top 6 to 8 inches of native soil. Tulips will develop a strong root system in the fall thanks to the nutrients provided by the soil, which is necessary for a significant spring bloom. However, to get the best results from your tulips, you must combine the strength of excellent soil with just the appropriate plant food. For details on what and when to feed tulips, see “How to Feed Tulips” below.
How to Plant Tulips
Tulips should be planted in bunches of 10 or more for the best display. The pointed end should be facing up as you plant each bulb 8 inches deep (measure from the bottom of the bulb and add the depth of any mulch on top of the soil in your measurement). It is possible to place bulbs close to one another. Thoroughly water.
How to Grow Tulips in a Pot
In pots, tulips are simple to grow. The bulbs should be buried at least 8 inches deep, much like with in-ground plantings, so measure from the top of the container to a depth of about 9 inches, then fill the pot up to that point with Miracle-Gro Potting Mix. Put the pointy end of the bulbs in the pot (you can pack them tightly together). After thoroughly watering, cover with the potting mix. Move the container to a cool, dry spot that stays at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter before the first frost in your area. Bring the container outside to a sunny area when you notice tulips budding. Water the soil there. Once you notice green growth, start watering often.
How to Water Tulips
When you plant tulips, make sure to thoroughly water each planting space. After planting, give the plants one watering each week for the first month. Then, leave them alone until spring. When the leaves come out in the spring, start watering once more.
How to Feed Tulips
Apply Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Rose & Bloom Plant Food in accordance with the instructions on the package once the flowers have faded. In order for the bulb to conserve nutrients for the following growing season, this will aid in promoting leaf growth. Every year in the late fall, feed for the final time (around the same time as you would plant new bulbs).
How to Cut Tulips to Enjoy Indoors
When the buds are still tightly closed, cut tulips. You should be able to identify the hue of the blooms despite the petals’ possible greenish tint. Put inside a spotless vase with room temperature water. Once cut and brought indoors, tulips will continue to “grow” (the stems extend). Simply trim a few inches from the bottom of the stems every few days if they start to get unruly. If you mix Miracle-Gro for Fresh Cut Flowers into the water and replace the water every few days, cut tulips will stay longer (compared to water only).
What to Do After Tulips Bloom
The best tulip flower display will typically occur in gardens in the spring that immediately follows the fall when the bulbs are planted. Once the petals have faded, trim the flower stalk back to the plant’s base to encourage species tulips to return year after year. After the bulbs have gone dormant, cease feeding them as previously mentioned, stop watering them, and trim back the foliage once it has completely turned brown. Simply pluck up the bulbs from hybrid varieties (which are not perennial) and compost them.
How to Protect Tulips from Deer and Other Pests
Preventing deer from eating tulip blooms is the biggest obstacle in tulip gardening, closely followed by preventing chipmunks and squirrels from digging up the bulbs. Planting holes or trenches should have chicken wire surrounding them on all sides to prevent bulbs from being dug up. (If you’re planting large sweeps of bulbs, which is how to get the best show from tulips, this is most useful.)
Deer are another matter. Installing a long (8 feet or more) fence is the greatest approach to keep deer out of the garden, but most people cannot afford to do this. Daffodil and Crown Imperial bulbs are not consumed by deer, so interplanting tulips with these varieties may help deter them. Alternatively, you may try misting a deer repellent on bulb foliage. In light of this, it is preferable to grow tulips in pots on a screened-in porch if deer are a significant issue where you live. This way, the deer can’t access to the flowers.
Ready to start tulip gardening? To learn more about a product, to buy it online, or to locate a retailer near you, click on any of the product links above.
TULIP PLANTING GUIDE
Tulips, the most recognizable of all flower bulbs, have a straightforward, graceful elegance that has drawn gardeners for hundreds of years. They stand majestic yet endearing in your garden, borders, containers, or window boxes. They are simple to cut for a magnificent spring bouquet and come in an amazing variety of colors and sizes.
Garden & Container Planting
Tulips require a cold time, much like all flower bulbs, to strengthen their roots and get ready for spring. So it’s time to start planting as soon as the first chill of fall appears in the air. The soil won’t get cold enough for the root-developing process to occur if you reside in hardiness zone 9 or higher, but you might think about forcing
Although flower bulbs are hardy and simple to grow, they detest getting their feet wet since they can quickly decay if left to “bathe” in water. Therefore, avoid at all costs moist soil. this refers to locations where puddles are still visible 5–6 hours after a downpour. You can also improve possibly wet soil by incorporating organic material like peat, bark, or manure. The same motto applies when planting bulbs in containers: drainage, drainage, and more drainage. Purchase a container that has at least a few drainage holes at the bottom.
Tulips require the sun to flourish, but even though they enjoy spending the entire day in its splendor, they may thrive in areas with dappled shade or sporadic sunlight.
Tulips must be buried deeply enough so that temperature swings above ground—either too warm or too cold—won’t impact them. Because containers can’t protect bulbs as well as mother earth can, it may be preferable to let your containers spend the winter indoors in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area where the temperature won’t rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, such as an unheated basement or garage, if you live in one of the hardiness zones 3 to 7.
The bulb is placed at the bottom of the hole with its sharp end facing up, and a hole three times as deep as the bulb’s height is dug to determine the optimal depth. When competing for nutrients with other bulbs, tulips don’t grow as well, thus it’s better to space them out 4-5 bulbs apart.
After planting, it’s crucial to give the bulbs plenty of water to help them settle and develop roots rapidly, but after that, you won’t need to water them again. All that’s left to do is wait patiently for spring to come and surprise you with the fruits of your labor and for winter to work its magic underground.
Tulips don’t typically need watering during the flowering season, but you can water them if there hasn’t been any rain for three to five days.
Don’t trim the foliage of tulips right away after they have stopped flowering; through photosynthesis, the leaves will produce nutrients that the bulb will need for its subsequent growing season. The leaves will naturally turn yellow and die back after a few weeks, at which point you can remove it. The bulb will now enter dormancy and won’t require watering again until the following spring.
How to plant tulips in your garden:
- Wait till the soil is 60°F or colder before planting. This will happen around September or October in the North and October or November in the South.
- Choose a location in your garden that receives full sun or some shade, has well-draining soil, and both.
- The tulip bulbs should be planted with their pointed ends facing up, 5-7 inches deep and 4-5 inches apart.
- once, and then wait until spring.
- Don’t remove the foliage from the tulips once they have blossomed. Remove it once it has entirely withered and become yellow.
How to plant tulips in pots or containers:
- Wait until the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the weather is chilly. This will happen around September or October in the North and October or November in the South.
- Choose a location in your garden that receives both full sun and some shade.
- Find a container with good drainage, fill it with loose soil, and make sure that water won’t collect and pool at the bottom.
- The tulip bulbs should be planted in the soil with their pointed ends facing up, 5-7 inches deep, and 3–4 inches apart. You can try putting the bulbs closer together since containers frequently have a small amount of room, but make sure they never touch.
- If you reside in hardiness zones 3–7, you can water well once and wait until spring, or you can bring the containers inside and let them spend the winter in a cool place like an unheated garage or basement.
Mass planting is a fantastic choice if you want your tulips to make a huge impression. Dig a big circle in the ground about 6 inches deep, add 10 bulbs to it, then fill it with with compost and organic fertilizer. Tulips should be planted closely together, similar to how eggs would be placed in a carton. After that, re-fill the hole with water.
Dig a long trench that is 3 feet wide and 6 feet deep, then rake some organic fertilizer into it if you want to grow tulips for cutting. The sharp ends of the bulbs should be facing up and placed close together but not touching. The next stage is to flood them with water, at least filling the trench halfway. You’ll get an extra-large root system this method, which will result in bigger flowers. Put irrigation lines in the trench before you backfill it with soil so you may give the plants a few more deep waterings throughout the winter. In the spring, when the buds are just beginning to color but before they have opened, you should clip the tulips. In this manner, a substantially longer vase life is assured. Remember that tulips could continue to grow slightly longer even inside the vase; thus, tuck the flowers in little deeper than usual to prevent your skillfully arranged arrangement from drooping.