How to plant tulips

Tulips are one of the most popular bulbs among fans of gardening and plants in general, as they have very different shapes and colors, all of them beautiful and striking.

It is a whole genus of the lily family, with around 5,000 species, hence its range of shapes, sizes and colors is so great. In case you dare to enrich your garden or home with these beautiful plants, in this article we will show you how to plant tulips step by step .

When to plant tulips

Although tulips can be planted for almost half a year, it is well known for being a good fall plant . In other words, you can sow or plant your tulip bulbs practically at any time between the months of September and January , but it is almost always recommended to do it in the middle of autumn .

In this way, it is necessary to sow and plant the tulip bulbs before the first frosts arrive, which will greatly favor the development and growth of the tulips. The tulip needs cold soil to develop properly, so a good time is when its temperature remains stable below 15 ºC. Planting them too early will cause them to grow too fast and the cold of winter will kill them, while doing so after the winter can cause diseases and fungi that develop in the soil to attack the bulb without cold.

In addition, it is important to mention that this bulb does not withstand long periods out of the ground, so it is better that you plant it as soon as you acquire it, or at most throughout that week, so that it remains in perfect condition. In any case, the sooner the better, especially if you don’t know how long it has been off the ground when you acquired it.

When choosing the tulip bulb , make sure that it shows a solid and consistent touch, with a thin skin, similar to that of onions. If it looks very dry or wilted, don’t buy or plant it. Also, keep in mind that you can save them for the next season, that is, once the flower, leaves and stem fall, the bulbous root is still alive and will regrow when the conditions are right. 

How to plant tulips step by step

You can sow your tulips both in pots and outdoors. In either case, follow these guidelines on how to plant tulips step by step from their bulb :

  1. Prepare a soil or substrate with good drainage , since tulips, like many bulbs, do not support excess humidity.
  2. It’s also a good idea to add some organic compost to the mix, such as worm castings or compost of some kind, which will give the plant strength.
  3. Once the location is chosen, which should be a fairly sunny area , start sowing the tulip bulbs at a depth equivalent to three times their size. You can bury them a little deeper if they are outdoors and you plan to leave them there permanently, while in a pot you can sow them a little more superficially. It is very important that you leave the wide part of the bulb facing down, in contact with the ground, and the sharp or thin part pointing upwards.
  4. If you plant several tulips outdoors, to form a row of flowers, leave a space of between 5 and 10 cm between each of the bulbs, so that they have land to develop well. If, on the other hand, you are going to plant in a pot, you can do it the other way around and put them together enough, so that they support each other as they grow.
  5. Then cover the bulb with soil or substrate to the proper height. When covering the bulbs, do not overload the soil: leave it loose and airy. After planting, as always, it is necessary to water.
How to Plant Tulips - How to Plant Tulips Step by Step

How to care for tulips – basic care

Regarding how to grow tulips , there are not too many complications. Here are some tips on tulip care that you can follow:

  • They are plants that do not need many waterings because, as we have already said, the bulbs do not want excess humidity. In fact, surrounding the surface of your soil or substrate with pine bark helps to maintain a proper level of it.
  • In pots, especially if they are close together, the bulbs will need more water and a more regular supply of compost.
  • After flowering it is necessary to cut the tulip flowers , so that the plant spends the cold months only with the bulb. It is also important to locate them in an area protected from strong winds, as they can end up damaging the plant.
  • Lastly, if you live in an area with a very hot climate, you may have trouble getting your tulips to bloom. These plants need a cold hibernation period of at least ten weeks, or they will not flower afterwards.

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