Treasured for centuries for their spectacular beauty, tulips put on a magnificent show of color in mid-spring, after most daffodils have faded but before perennials and shrubs burst into bloom.
Fall is the time to plant tulips. The bulbs slowly grow roots through the winter and when the weather warms in spring, tulips come alive with leaves and a magnificent show of welcome color.
Plant Tulips Now For Bold Spring Color:
- Plant tulips in groups of five to seven bulbs per square foot. Choose groups based on color. Mixtures of bright primary colors create a festive look, and bold reds and oranges are easily seen from a distance. Soft pastel-colored tulips set a more relaxed mood, so they are always welcome near outdoor living areas.
- Use a digging fork to cultivate the soil 12 inches deep and mix bulb fertilizer into the bottom of the hole. Follow label instructions on how much to use. You may also add 2 inches of compost to the hole for an extra boost. Tulips adapt to many soil types as long as the site drains well.
- Push unpeeled tulip bulbs into the soil, pointed side up, 8 inches deep, measuring from the bottom of the bulb. Space the bulbs 3 to 4 inches apart. Water the planted bulbs before covering them with soil. This bit of water is helpful to get the bulbs started, but tulips do not need additional watering during the winter months.
- Cover the planted space with a 2-inch layer of mulch to deter weeds and give the bed a finished look.
Tip: Squirrels and chipmunks like to dig and eat the bulbs, and deer and groundhogs pop the buds like candy. To deter the critters feasting on your bulbs or buds, plant them close to the house or in containers.