Growing Tulips

Tulips are one of the most rewarding spring bulbs you can grow. Every spring garden deserves these classic, easy-to-grow beauties.

  1. Select a planting site with full sun and well-draining soil. Tulips don’t like wet feet and will rot in soil that lacks good drainage.

  2. For the best visual impact, plant tulips in groupings of no less than 10. Planting the tulips in a half-moon arrangement will make the grouping appear larger than it actually is. It's a trick I've been using in the perennial border for years. If you're planning to grow for cutting, then long, narrow beds are most efficient.

    growing tulips

  3. Dig out a hole or trench of soil to a depth of 6”. As a general rule, you want to plant the bulbs three times as deep as their height. Add organic fertilizer or compost to the bottom of the hole or trench and lightly scratch it into the soil.

  4. Plant the bulbs with the pointed side up, leaving roughly an inch of spacing between them. While tulips can be planted quite close to each other, they shouldn’t be touching. Think of eggs in a carton to give you an idea of spacing.

    growing tulips bulbs

  5. Give the bulbs a good watering, and then backfill the hole with soil. Mark the spot so as not to disturb the bulbs.

  6. If squirrels or other rodents are a problem in your area, laying a piece of chicken wire over the planting area will deter squirrels and other rodents from digging up your bulbs. Be certain to remove this mesh first thing in the spring so as not to hinder the growth of the newly emerging leaves.

    growing tulips

  7. After flowering, it is important to allow the tulip foliage to die back naturally. This will allow the bulbs to replenish their food stores and produce flowers the following year.

    how to grow tulips