Tulips are a defining feature of spring. These spectacular bulbs produce a rainbow of colors in their flowers, from soft pastels to bright, brilliant tones. They grow in pots and are great for springtime border color.
Midway through fall is when you should plant spring bulbs like tulips. Although tulips are technically perennial, wide-spread types have been bred for years to produce the most beautiful flowers, so they only consistently flower once a year at best. To guarantee a nice show, many gardeners plant fresh bulbs every fall. Tulips grown in bulbs need annual bulb replanting.
Depending on the variety, tulips may bloom anywhere from late March to early April, from mid-season to early May, or even late in the month of May. Extending the life of your displays can be accomplished by growing a variety of different kinds. Additionally, you are free to combine various flower types, heights, and colors. The technique of combining tulips is complex, but you can get pre-selected combinations to grow at the garden store or online.
Ways to Grow Tulips
In late fall, ideally in November, plant tulip bulbs in soil that is damp but has good drainage and a sunny spot. At around 5 cm apart and at a depth of at least three times the bulb’s own, annually planting new bulbs in the fall ensures the best possible displays.
Where to Put Your Tulip Bulbs?
All tulips, no matter their kind, need full sun and shelter, as well as soil with good drainage. In a border, tulips should be planted behind perennials so that the latter’s new foliage will hide the tulips’ dying leaves. For better results when planting in sandy or heavy clay soils, add lots of compost or other well-rotted organic matter. It may be necessary to use horticultural grit at the bottom of the planting hole if the soil is very dense. Tulips grow in pots when planted on peat-free, general-purpose compost.
When Should Tulip Bulbs Be Planted?
Although tulip bulbs can be planted early in the middle of October, experts recommend waiting until November as the cold temperatures reduce the risk of the fungal disease tulip fire. If you miss the November schedule for planting tulip bulbs, don’t panic; you may still have spring flowers if you plant them in December or even January.
If you forget to purchase bulbs in the fall, you may still have a beautiful spring show by purchasing a few pots of tulips from your local garden shop.
In the fall, use a bulb planter or garden trowel to dig a hole and place the bulb pointed end up. Tulip bulbs don’t need to be soaked before planting; just place them in the ground at a depth of 20 cm (approximately three times the height of the bulbs) and space them out by about 5 cm. Tulips look best when planted in large groups.
Pots are ideal for cultivating tulips. Plant the bulbs three times as deep as they are tall, with just a few centimeters between them, and fill the container with peat-free, all-purpose compost. Put some compost on top.
Tulips aren’t the only spring bulbs that can be planted alongside others in a container to create a show that lasts longer.
A Guide to Deadheading Tulips
Tulip tulips may survive the winter in the ground and rebloom the following spring, though the plants may be shorter and have fewer flowers if they aren’t removed. To avoid this, make sure the tulip bulbs get as many nutrients as possible. After they bloom, remove the spent flowers to prevent the plant from putting its energy into making seeds (the species of tulips are the only exception to this rule; they should be allowed to produce seeds and spread naturally over your garden). Wait until a month after flowers have withered before cutting down leaves. The next year’s crop of bulbs will be less strong if you cut them too soon.
The Ins And Outs of Tulip Propagation
Although tulip bulbs can survive being left in the ground for many years, some gardeners choose to remove them for storage. Once the leaves have turned yellow, often a month after blooming, you can pick them by hand with a fork. Just detach or cut off the stem, then clean off the bulb’s brittle outer layer. The bulbs should be allowed to dry before being stored in a paper bag.
Gently peel away offset bulbs that have developed on the main bulb’s sides. Keep them with the parent bulbs in paper bags in a dry, cool spot where they won’t be affected by frost. Plant the offsets in the fall, but do so approximately 25 centimeters deeper.
How to Solve Problems When Growing Tulips?
As the spores of tulip fire (Botrytis tulipae) are carried by the wind and rain, this fungal disease is most severe during rainy seasons. The symptoms include brown spots all over the plant, reduced growth, and deformed shoots and leaves. Infested plants should be dug out and burned, and tulips shouldn’t be replanted there for at least two years. If you plant your tulip bulbs in the fall, you can help keep the disease at bay.
Planting tulip bulbs only to have squirrels dig them out and consume them later is a common occurrence. This can be bothersome. To prevent them from digging into the dirt and getting at your plants, you can install chicken wire around pots or weigh them down with bricks. Bulbs may also benefit from being planted at a little deeper depth.
Suggestions for Buying Tulips
· You can check out tulip bulbs for sale at garden centers beginning in late summer, but for the most variety, try shopping online.
· It’s important to check that your bulbs are solid and mold-free before using them.
· Even if the prices tend to drop after Christmas, the selection of tulips is usually less than it is earlier in the season.
Tulips last a long time when cut because they can take in nutrients from the water and keep growing.