How to plant tulips for an effortlessly colorful garden

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ISLANDOnce you know how to plant tulips, every spring you will be rewarded with the most colorful exhibit in your garden. “Tulips have single flowers with three large petals and two or three large leaves. They come in a rainbow of different colors, shades, shapes and stripes – from deep, glossy red to frilly, white and yellow or even almost black, “says Clive Harris, gardening expert and creator of DIY Garden, a gardening and sustainability-focused blog . Over 4,000 different types of tulips have been bred over the years, but the one that is still missing is a real blue, ”he says. But still, when it comes to planting tulips in your garden, you are spoiled for choice.

The amazing thing about tulips is their relative ease of cultivation when planted under favorable conditions. “Tulips will grow in almost any soil that is well drained, but what they love best is a rich topsoil or topsoil,” says Harris.

Bulbs grow with strong stems when planted at least 10 cm deep and they can live for many years. “But they tend to disappear after three or so seasons, which is shorter compared to other bulbs, such as daffodils or crocus,” Harris says.

how to plant tulips
Photo: Stocksy / Helen Yin

How to plant tulips

“Expert tulip growers lift bulbs when the flowers are done and store them in a dark, dry place until the fall before planting out again,” says Harris. It can prevent them from rotting, drying out or being attacked by pests, but it is not necessary for a good exhibition and if you do not want to dig them up every summer, ”says Harris.

In general, it is best to plant tulips in mid-autumn so that they can bloom into flowers the following spring. “If you plant them in the spring, they don’t have time to grow and bloom that year,” Harris explains.

November is the best month to plant tulips, as the bulbs do not mind the lower temperatures. (But temperatures below freezing or harsh climates will destroy onions, and there may be the presence of a fungus called tulip fire, which will rot on them.)

When planting tulips and their bulbs outside, choose a place that gets plenty of sunshine and make sure to have at least 10 cm depth. “The pointed ends must reach the sky, where the loose roots touch loose soil,” he says. Water them well and be on the lookout for any mid-spring pests that may be approaching, such as snails and slugs that tend to eat new foliage.

“Another tip is to cover the ground with horticultural grains, which prevent squirrels from digging up the bulbs,” he says. It is also useful for maintaining proper drainage and for avoiding water filling. “Don’t worry, your tulips will just flow through the grains,” Harris says.

You can also grow tulips indoors if you do not have the outdoor space. “Tulips will also grow in a deep container, just make sure to water them often and make sure the container is on its feet so excess water can run free,” he says. Again, water filling will rot beautiful tulip bulbs.

How to care for tulips when they are cut

Cut tulips are a great alternative to roses and they last much longer if you know how to care for tulips at home. With the right steps, they stay beautiful, healthy and strong.

  1. Choose tulips closed in buds in the store as they last longer when planted at home.
  2. Cut the stems off by 1 cm to remove scabs, which will allow greater water uptake.
  3. Choose a cool place for your vase, as cut tulips will wither in the sun and in the radiator heat.
  4. Fill the vase with cold, fresh water every morning to hydrate dried tulips daily.
  5. Empty and refill the entire vase every other day to keep it clean and fresh.
  6. If one tulip looks rotten or diseased, remove it to avoid infecting the others.

how to plant tulips
Photo: Stocksy / Kaat Zoetekouw

How to plant tulips in larger quantities

When planting tulips, you may want to increase the number and create a collection of beautiful tulips that often look better than just planting one or two types. And if so, it’s smart to incorporate a variety of tulip sizes and styles to best complement each other.

It may be a good idea to buy tulips that vary in their heights and flower shapes, as the diversity will enhance aesthetic and overall display, especially if your tulips are part of a collection of tulips.

“A lot of tulips always look better than two or three,” Harris says. “For example, tulips with short stems with ruffled edges look beautiful when filled with tall slender tulips with slender flower heads,” he continues.

If you love colors, then go for a wide range of shades when planting tulips at home. Or keep it simple with a piece of pure white or blood red tulips, as another route. It’s about personal preferences, and the great thing about tulips is that they are versatile.

How to care for tulips so they last longer

Once you have chosen a place where your tulips can grow, give them shelter from the prevailing wind and rain if they are part of an outdoor garden and therefore prone to being exposed. “Strong winds hit tulips and destroy their petals, so it’s a good choice to plant tulips near a fence or area where they are sheltered by an evergreen shrub,” says Harris. “A really good place to plant tulips lies behind some summer-flowering perennials because perennials cover tulips when their foliage dies back in the summer,” he adds.

To keep tulips looking fresh at the edge or in a container, cut off any seed heads as they appear as part of routine maintenance. “This lets the strength of the tulip go back into the bulb for a larger exhibit the following year instead of creating seeds,” Harris says. You will simply cut the seed head off about an inch or so down the stem as needed.

For the most beautiful tulip displays, replace your bulbs at least every three years. “Old bulbs can be planted in less visited garden areas where they will still bloom, but not as well as young bulbs will, and in general, new bulbs always create the strongest, freshest flowers,” Harris explains.

how to plant tulips
Photo: Stocksy / Amir Kaljikovic

How to choose tulips for planting

When buying tulips, first consider the range of flowering seasons and seasons so that you go into the process with a plan. “You can buy tulips that bloom in March, tulips that bloom in April to May, and late tulips that bloom in late May to June,” Harris says.

“All tulips are usually finished in mid-June, but spring is not the same without them, and you can extend the flowering season with several months of tulip beauty by planting a variety of March to June varieties,” he explains.

Choose healthy tulip bulbs from a garden center or order them online from a specialized tulip grower. When buying, make sure that the tulip bulbs you have chosen are ready to plant in November, which is the most favorable month for planting. “Tulips planted in November will bloom from March to May, depending on the type you purchased,” Harris says.

If you miss the planting season, you can buy tulips in pots that are already in bloom, both online and at a garden center. You want to put them right into the edge so they can continue to grow and you can treat them just like you would treat your November planted bulbs.

Flowering tulips in pots are easy to find in the spring, as most nurseries and garden centers have them, because they are so beautiful and bright and thus attractive to customers.

“The best tulip bulbs for a garden include Darwin Hybrids, Emperor and Kaufmanniana, and although you can buy them in many places, you should always stick to a reputable name to ensure that your tulips are not leftovers from previous years,” advises Harris .

It is much easier to find out how to buy tulips online once you have a regular grower in mind who has been considered to be reputable and of high quality.

“Online tulip growers generally have the best selection because they specialize in tulips and are always bringing in new hybrids to keep their selection exciting,” says Harris. “They often also offer pre-selected blends for good color combinations and shapes,” he adds.

If you buy tulips from a garden center, you can test their quality personally by gently squeezing the bulb. “If it gives, if it’s damp, or if it has a bulge, do not buy it,” says Harris, as tulip bulbs should be firm and show no signs of rot, such as black spots, cuts, or bruises.

You do not want to buy tulips that are already in decay, so be careful when choosing your bulbs and make sure you buy the most pristine, healthy bulbs you can find.

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