Tulips are iconic spring flowers. Many people buy a bouquet of tulips at the store, but don’t realize how easy it can be to grow their own! Tulips have vibrant petals that come in many colors as well as incredible color combinations. Plant tulip bulbs in the fall, and by springtime you can enjoy the sight of beautiful blooming tulips in your garden!
Tulips are hardy and will grow in most climates. Depending on what variety you buy, each bulb will produce one to four blossoms. Tulips don’t like a lot of water which makes them perfect for California!
Plan to plant bulbs in the fall when the weather turns cooler. In colder areas, plant bulbs before the first frost and the ground gets too hard. Pick bulbs that are firm and smooth like the ones pictured here. Choose a location that is mostly sunny or has light shade and doesn't get excessive water.
When planting, size matters. The bigger the bulb, the deeper the hole. From the top of bulb, there should be about 8 inches of dirt to the surface. So, if your bulb is around an inch big, then make the hole 9 inches deep.
Place the pointy part of the bulb facing up so it grows the correct way. Be careful when adding dirt back into the hole that the bulb stays pointed upward. Space bulbs about 4 to 6 inches apart, depending on the size of the bulb, because bigger bulbs need more space between them to thrive.
Tulips are perennials, meaning they can come back more than once. In most climates, though, the soil isn't conducive to more than one year of growth. Also, bulbs usually only contain enough nutrients for it to bloom once. So, if you want the tulips to come back after the first year, place some plant food in the holes before closing them up!
Bulbs should be watered when first planted, but after that shouldn’t be watered unless a dry spell occurs. Once planted and watered, the only thing left to do is wait until they bloom in the spring!
There is nothing like growing your own tulips and seeing them bloom. Tulips are perfect for adding color to any garden. Put a reminder in your calendar to plant bulbs this fall so by next spring you can enjoy homegrown tulips!