Tulip Growing Guide

Tulip

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Average garden soil with excellent drainage.

Position

Full sun. In less than full sun, tulip blossoms will twist toward the strongest directional light.

Frost tolerant

Excellent. Most tulips are hardy to -37C (-35F); cold tolerance varies with species.

Feeding

Topdress with rich compost in spring, when new growth appears. Fertilise established clumps with a balanced organic fertiliser in the autumn.

Companions

Tulips bloom at the same time as dogwoods and other spring-flowering trees in most areas. Perennial candytuft makes an ideal companion plant. Planting tulips behind daylilies or other summer-blooming perennials hides the fading foliage from view.

Spacing

Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 10cm (3") with 15cm (5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out dormant bulbs from late summer to early winter. Allow 10cm (4in) between bulbs of miniature tulips, and 15cm (6in) between taller varieties. Cover the bulbs to four times their depth with loose soil.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Tulips will return for several years where winters are cold, but may rot when grown in warm, moist areas. Colours choices are endless, from white to almost black. Clear primary colours create a festive effect in a mixed planting.

Harvesting

Cut tulips to use as cut flowers just as the buds open. As the flowers fade in the garden, trim them off with scissors or secateurs.

Troubleshooting

Tulips are often eaten by rabbits. Hot pepper sprays help to deter these nibblers. Tulip bulbs require 6-8 weeks chilling in a refrigerator before planting out in warmer areas. Tulips are best treated as an annual in warmer areas.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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