How to Grow Tulips for Beginners

How do you Grow Tulips?

This can be a difficult question to answer for beginner gardeners because of numerous factors including climate, soil, and experience level.

This article will help solve this problem and give beginner gardeners Easy-to-Follow Steps on growing tulips ANYWHERE.

And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 7 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing tulips.


Step #1 Plant One of These 5 Types of Tulips

tulips

When buying and planting one of these 5 types of tulips you should make sure that the bulbs are firm, unblemished, with few or no tears to the outer coating.

I am recommending five specific types of Tulips that are simple to grow and care for regardless of your experience.

Best of all is that all of these Tulips are perennials and beautiful!

A) Single Tulip Bulb

single tulip

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
  • Length & Width: 3 inches x 1 inch
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

When the typical gardener thinks of Tulips they are thinking of Single Late Tulips.

Single Tulips have a goblet or cup shape and include some of the tallest varities of tulips that you can grow.

They are incredibly easy to grow and are perfect for raised garden beds, edges, and containers. To have the best results you should plant 15 at a time.

The most popular types of Single Tulips include Andre Rieu, Antoinette, Big Smile, Belle Du Monde, and the Blushing Beauty.

B) Double Tulip

double tulip

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
  • Length & Width: 2 inches x 1 inch
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

Because of their shape, Double Tulips are also known by gardeners as peony-flowered tulips and because they always bloom in doubles.

They are incredibly easy to grow and are perfect for raised garden beds, edges, and containers. To have the best results you should plant 15 at a time.

Not only that, but these are incredibly fragrant tulips and are perfect to be cut and displayed indoors.

The most popular types of Double Tulips include Abigail, Allegretto, Blue Diamond, and Double Sugar.

C) Ruffled Tulip

ruffled tulip

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
  • Length & Width: 3 inches x 1 inch
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring

Ruffled Tulips, also known as Parrot Tulips are beautiful tulips that are mutations of other tall-growing tulips and has its name from its ruffled tulip petals.

They are incredibly easy to grow and are perfect for raised garden beds, edges, and containers. To have the best results you should plant 15 at a time.

Not only that, but the flower petals will almost flatten out with full-sun exposure and is a great complement among other tulips.

The most popular types of Ruffled Tulips include Black Parrot, Apricot Parrot, Blue Parrot, and Bright Parrot.

D) Fringed Tulip

fringed tulip

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
  • Length & Width: 3 inches x 1 inch
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring

Fringed Tulips are another mutation of tall tulips that gets its name from its fringed tulip petals. This is also becoming the fastest-growing type of tulip being planted.

They are incredibly easy to grow and are perfect for raised garden beds, edges, and containers. To have the best results you should plant 15 at a time.

Not only that, but these are perfect to be cut and displayed indoors.

The most popular types of Fringed Tulips include Arma, Bell Song, Blue Heron, Burgundy Lace, and Cummins.

E) Lily Shaped Tulip

lily shaped tulip

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
  • Length & Width: 3 inches x 1 inch
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring

Lily Shaped Tulips are incredibly thin flowers that are slightly curved and pointed. They are also some of the most beautiful spring flowers in North America.

Because of the thin stems and flowers this type of tulip can be prone to wind or heavy rain damage and should be planted in an area of your garden that is protected.

They are incredibly easy to grow and are perfect for raised garden beds, edges, and containers. To have the best results you should plant 15 at a time.

Not only that, but the flower petals will almost flatten out with full-sun exposure and is a great complement among other tulips.

The most popular types of Lily Shaped Flowers include Aladdin, Ballade Dream, China Pink, Fly Away, and Elegant Lady.


Step #2. How to Grow Tulips from Bulbs

Tulips are a beautiful flower that blooms in early to mid-spring.

Unlike conventional thinking, Tulips are perennial flowers.

Most flower gardeners think Tulips are annual flowers because hybrid tulips can become weakened perennials over time.

Step 1 – Plant Your Tulip Bulbs in the Fall

tulip bulbs

First, make sure you buy your appropriate Tulips on Amazon on another reputable garden vendor.

Plant your tulip bulbs in the fall when your soil has cooled off & the temperature is between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant your bulbs before the first frost!

Take the temperature of your soil and ensure that it will stay below 60 degrees for 12 weeks or think about planting your tulips in pots.

  • Hardiness Zones 3 – 5: Plant in September
  • Hardiness Zones 6 – 7: Plant in October
  • Hardy Zones 8 – 9: Plant in December

*Find Your Hardiness Zone HERE*

Step 2 – Prepare Your Soil THIS Way!

prepare tulip soil

Locate the area of your flower garden or yard where you want to plant your tulips.

  • Tulips do best in an area that receives partial to full afternoon sun.
  • The soil should be well-draining and should be neutral to slightly acidic (6.0 – 7.0 pH level).
  • The flower garden should be well protected from wind and heavy rain.

Mix 3 inches of Flower Garden Soil to the top 6 inches of your garden soil.

Step 3 – Simply Plant Your Tulip Bulbs

tulips 1

tulips 2

tulips 3

To have the most success planting your bulbs you should simply dig a hole 8 inches deep and plant 10 tulip bulbs next to each other.

*Make sure the Tulip Bulbs “pointy” part is facing up*

Then mix flower fertilizer (that has a 10-10-10 NPK ratio) in the hole (according to the the instructions). And then fill the holes with your flower and garden soil mix.

Next, water your tulip bulbs for 15 seconds. This will help promote the start of root growth. Continue to water your bulbs for 15 seconds once a week for the first month.

Then continue this process for as many bulbs as you want to grow. Make sure to spread each set of 10 tulip bulbs 4 inches apart.

Step 4 – Do THIS in the Winter

In the beginning of winter you will want to mulch your flower garden bed.

After you mulch the flower garden bed do nothing else to your tulip bulbs the rest of winter.

Step 5- And do THIS in the Spring

tulip growth

Once the year becomes spring and your tulips grow leaves then you should add flower fertilizer again.

Then water your tulips once a week until your tulips bloom.

As soon your tulip petals fall off the flower deadhead it.

And make sure to keep your leaves on the flower for 6 weeks while your flower absorbs and retains energy for next year’s bloom.

Step 6 – Maintain minimal maintenance in summer

Once it becomes summer you should cut the stem and leaves of your tulips where it meets the soil.

Do not water your tulips in the summer. Do not fertilize your tulips in the summer. Simply leave your tulips in the ground all summer.


Frequently Asked Questions (9 Questions)

#1. How Do You Grow Tulips in Pots?

If you are not able to plant your tulip bulbs in an area your garden or yard, or if your soil will not stay below 60 degrees Fahrenheit then you should plant your Tulips in a container.

To have the most success planting Tulip Bulbs in pots you should do the following:

  • Bury your bulbs in a container with 8 inches of Flower Garden Soil over it.
  • Make sure the “pointy” end of the bulb is facing up
  • Immediately water your tulip bulbs for 15 seconds
  • Before the first frost of the year move your container to an area of your property that is cool and dry. Keep it here throughout winter
  • Once you notice green growth emerging in the winter move your container into a sunny area and begin watering it once a week.
  • Once your tulip petals fall off you will want to deadhead your flower.
  • Let the green growth of your plant remain for 6 weeks. Then cut it and your stem where it meets your soil.


#2. How Do I Water My Tulips?

watering tulips

You should water your Tulips three different ways.

  • Immediately after you plant your tulip bulbs you should soak the soil for 15 seconds
  • Continue watering your tulip bulbs once a week for the first month and then don’t water until the spring
  • Begin watering your tulips once a week once green growth returns in the spring


#3. How Do I Feed My Tulips?

tulip fertilizer

To properly feed your tulips with fertilizer you should wait until the tulip flowers have faded and begun falling off your flower.

To have the most success use Tulip Fertilizer. This will help your tulips store nutrients properly for the next season.

For best results, simply follow the instructions on your fertilizer product.


#4. How Do I Cut Tulips?

cutting tulips

If you want to display your tulips indoors then cut tulips when the flowers have grown, but not blossomed. It is okay if the flower bud is slightly green, but should have color.

Place the cut tulip in a vase with water at room temperature. Every few days change your water.

If you want your tulips to last longer in the vase then you should add Miracle-Gro for Fresh Cut Flowers.


#5. How Do I Protect my Tulips from Pests

tulip pests

The biggest threat to your tulips is deer, squirrels, and chipmunks. This is both when your tulips are growing and blooming.

To prevent your bulbs from digging up place bird netting over the ground where they are planted.

If you are trying to prevent deer then you should use deer repellent. If this does not work then grow your tulip bulbs in pots and containers out of the deer’s reach.


#6. How do I Prevent Common Tulip Diseases

tulips aphids

The most common tulip diseases and harmful insects are gray mold, slugs, snail, aphids, nematodes, and bulb rot.

You can help prevent these diseases and harmful insects by using a fungicide spray and an insecticide spray in early spring as green growth begins to emerge.

#7. What are the Best Uses for Tulips?

tulip uses

Tulips are best used for indoor display, but can also add color to raised garden beds, container gardening, or even in your traditional flower garden.

Tulips can complement columbines, azaleas, lilacs, daffodils, crocus, and even hyacinths.

#8. What types of Bulb Should I buy?

buy tulip bulbs

Purchasing Tulip Bulbs is a much easier task than say vegetable or herb seeds, where you have to worry about GMOs, Organic, Heirloom, etc.

When buying tulip bulbs you should stick to hybrid or heirloom. These will give you the best success in growing Tulips.

Hybrid Tulip Bulbs are weakened perennials that may or may not come up every year.

Heirlom Tulip Bulbs are perennial bulbs that come up yearly but have a higher risk of contracting a disease, harmful insect, or fungus.

Just as important is where you buy your bulbs from. I recommend buying your seeds from Amazon. This will provide you with the best price and quickest delivery.

#9. What Type of Gardening Pot Should I Buy?

garden pots

I recommend buying one type of pot.

Buy a 5-gallon pot.

  • This is essential if you want to allow your tulips to grow to its fullest. It is also important if you want to continue to grow your tulips outside.

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