Your quick guide to growing tulips
Get a good start on growing tulip bulbs with this quick guide.
When to plant tulip bulbs
Tulip bulbs are best planted in November, a little later than daffodils and most other common spring-flowering bulbs. Waiting for cooler weather lessens the risk of fungal diseases like tulip fire attacking your bulbs.
How to plant tulip bulbs
Choose a sunny position with well-drained, fertile soil. Dig plenty of organic matter into the ground before planting your tulips to a depth of three times the height of the bulb. Leave a couple of inches (approximately 5cm) between bulbs.
How to store tulip bulbs
Many gardeners grow tulips as an annual and replace them every year. If you do decide to lift and store your bulbs, you should first deadhead them and wait for the foliage to yellow. This allows as many nutrients as possible return to the bulb. Lift the bulbs gently being careful not to damage them. Finally remove the flaky outer layer and allow the bulbs to dry before storing them in a paper bag somewhere warm and dry.
Can you leave tulip bulbs in pots?
Yes, you can leave tulips bulbs in pots all year round, but do bear in mind that tulips often give their best display only in year one, after which they tend to produce fewer, smaller flowers. If you do decide to keep your tulips going, make sure you plant them in a container with excellent drainage, deadhead them after flowering, wait for the stems to yellow and wilt, and then apply a generous layer of mulch to protect them over the winter.