Which Way Is Up On A Tulip Bulb

So, which way should bulbs be planted? When trying to distinguish the top from the bottom of a bulb, things might get confused. The tip of most bulbs—but not all—is the part that rises. Locating a smooth tip and a rough underside on the bulb will help you determine which direction is up. The bulb’s roots are where the roughness originates. Face it downward with the pointed tip up once you have located the roots. That is one method of determining the direction of bulb planting.

Growing tubers or corms, which are flatter than other bulbs, is how dahlia and begonias are produced. Because bulbs lack a clear growing point, it might be challenging to decide which direction to plant them in the ground. The tuber can be planted on its side and will typically emerge from the ground. The concave part (dip) of the majority of corms can be planted facing up.

However, most bulbs will still succeed in emerging from the ground and growing in the wrong direction, toward the sun.

What side of the tulip bulb is upward?

Read the label first: Prior to planting, try to maintain the label with the bulbs. The white tulip bulbs and the red tulip bulbs cannot be distinguished from one another without the label.

Where to plant: As long as the soil drains effectively, you may plant bulbs just about anyplace in your garden. According to the Dutch, “bulb don’t like wet feet.” Therefore, stay away from wet locations, such as the bottom of hills. Because the leaves on the trees haven’t yet come out, the spring garden can be very sunny in many places, which is good for bulbs. So keep in mind that there are numerous places you can plant for spring blooming when you’re doing your fall planting.

Set up the planting area: Make the dirt loose and workable by digging. If the garden bed is new, there’s a good possibility the soil might use some organic matter, like compost or peat moss, which are readily accessible at most neighborhood garden supply stores. In the planting bed, loosen the soil to a depth of at least 8. Get rid of any weeds, rocks, or other clutter. If your soil is deficient in nutrients, you can add compost, other organic matter, or slow-releasing fertilizer.

Plant: Depending on the type of bulb, plant it according to the label’s suggested depth. Plant large bulbs approximately 8″ deep and little bulbs about 5″ deep as a general rule. Put the roots down or the bulb’s pointy side up in the hole. A crocus’ pointed end is more difficult to see than a tulip’s. Plant the bulb on its side if you can’t tell the top from the bottom; in most situations, even if you don’t get it correctly, the flower will still make its way to the top.

After planting the bulbs, backfill the hole with dirt, lightly compacting it but not packing it. Once to remove any air pockets and to encourage root growth. Unless you reside in a region with little rainfall throughout the winter, there is no need to water regularly.

What happens if tulip bulbs are planted backwards?

The best time to sow spring-flowering bulbs is in the fall. On the Cape and Islands, this is one of the most pleasant times of year to be outside, and planting bulbs is a fun autumn activity that will produce lovely results in the spring. However, customers frequently have inquiries regarding their bulbs, and at Country Garden, we are prepared to provide answers.

  • How deep should bulbs be buried? Years ago, the rule of thumb was to plant bulbs at least three times their height deep. For instance, a bulb that was two inches tall would need to be buried at least six inches. Deeper isn’t better, though, as ongoing study at Cornell University’s Horticultural Department has demonstrated. Tulip bulbs planted in the Cornell test fields at a depth of just three inches and covered with a couple of inches of mulch fared better in subsequent years than those planted at a deeper depth. This is fantastic news for Cape gardeners because in many gardens, clean sand can be found six inches or deeper. Your bulbs should be alright if you cover them with three to four inches of dirt.
  • Can I grow bulbs alongside perennials or groundcovers? Yes, but some groundcovers, like English ivy and Pachysandra, are so tenacious that they might outcompete the bulbs. It is ideal to plant bulbs between perennials or in front of shrubs, but remember to provide room for those plants’ future growth.
  • My bulbs are getting dug up by squirrels after I plant them! Squirrels frequently delve into newly excavated soil in search of edible grubs or treats that have been concealed by other squirrels. Although you might have read that planting your bulbs in wire cages is an excellent way to prevent this, that extra trouble is unneeded. Watering the area well shortly after planting the bulbs is the greatest approach to deter squirrels from excavating your bulbs. So that the squirrels can’t detect that you recently planted in the region, this settles the soil. Laying some lengths of chickenwire across the area you’ve planted and leaving it there for a few of weeks is another technique to deter this habit.
  • Fall foliage is coming out from my bulbs! Do I need to defend it? The grape hyacinth is the most typical bulb that produces growth in the fall. Just ignore them if these or other bulbs appear in the fall. Any green foliage is often produced to provide energy to the bulbs and root systems. Although they might become a little winter-worn, the shoots will be fine, and the plants will produce new leaves and blossom in the spring.
  • I inserted my bulbs backwards! Do I have to search for them? Although bulbs should be planted with their pointed ends up, it’s okay if you put them in backwards. Bulbs will turn themselves around since they are aware of which way is up.

Therefore, go ahead and plant some bulbs. After the winter, the colors of spring will delight you.


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.

Special effects

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.

Before planting tulip bulbs, should I soak them?

You now understand the fundamentals, but you could still have some queries. Here are some of the questions regarding planting bulbs for spring that I am asked the most.

How deep should you plant spring bulbs?

It’s a good idea to put spring bulbs 2-3 times deeper than their height as a general rule of thumb. For the best results, however, always read the package directions.

Should you soak spring bulbs before planting?

Before planting, there is no need to soak them. However, soaking them for 12 to 24 hours can hasten the roots process if you are running late planting them.

They will root more quickly if you add fish emulsion or liquid kelp to the water before soaking.

Why are bulbs planted in the fall?

To grow and blossom, spring-blooming bulbs require a period of cold hibernation. They won’t likely blossom in the spring if they aren’t planted in the fall.

Can you plant flower bulbs in the spring?

Although it is technically possible, I don’t advise planting cold-hardy flower bulbs in the spring. If they are planted in the spring, they won’t bloom.

Additionally, there’s a chance they won’t have enough time to save the energy they’ll need to endure the winter.

Bulb planting offers such a big payoff for spring blooming. Seeing the first few green shoots pop up from the earth is so amazing. And I bet you’ll be putting more and more spring bulbs in your garden every year now that you know how simple it is.