How to Plant and Care for Tulips

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Plant and Care for Tulips

Tulips bloom in spring generating an explosion of colour in your garden. If you plant them correctly and with proper care you can enjoy these beautiful spring flowers year after year. Tulips provide a variety of colours and textures, ranging from miniature tulips grown in small spaces to the giants that dominate the landscape.

You'll need:
  • tulip bulbs
  • fertilizers
  • compost
You may also be interested in: What Does A Yellow Tulip Mean
Steps to follow:

Look into magazines or seed catalogues to determine the type of tulip you want to grow. Note that the size, shape and colour you choose should be influenced by the area in which you want them: miniature tulips will bring a delicious touch of colour to a narrow corner, but the giant variety may seem out of place in that same location.


Choose a sunny location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight. Although tulips will bloom in less sun, the flower will be smaller and may lack colour. Note that the tulips bloom early and can be grown under deciduous trees that have no leaves in spring. The key is to find a spot that gets plenty of sun in the spring.


Prepare 8-10 cms of space in the ground to grow these. Remove rocks, roots and debris.

How to Plant and Care for Tulips - Step 3

Add plenty of compost or organic matter to the soil and work it correctly.

How to Plant and Care for Tulips - Step 4

Plant the tulip bulbs 6-8 centimetres deep, depending on the variety and size of the bulbs, with the top up. The best time to plant is in early autumn, if you want to have flowers in spring. Plant the tulips in groups of three or five.


Sprinkle the top soil of the tulips with fertilizers and work this into the soil down to one or two centimetres This fertilizer will dissolve and feed the flowers when it rains.


Let the tulip leaves continue to grow after blooming. Once they have turned yellow or brown and have fallen, you can cut them back to ground level if desired. After flowering, tulips use energy to strengthen the bulbs for next year. Cut them again before they died as this can prevent them blooming in the coming years.


You shouldn't water a tulip unless you live in an area with very few rain, especially during autumn.



If you want to grow a tulip in a vase, make sure it's not a very big bulb (check with your local garden center specialist) and cut the stems diagonally to make them last longer.

How to Plant and Care for Tulips - Step 9

If you want to read similar articles to How to Plant and Care for Tulips, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.

  • To extend the flowering season of tulips, plant different varieties of these plants with different flowering times. Tulips come in the first flowering, mid season, and late season variations. Choose a number of that will bloom successively for an impressive display of colour.
  • Fertilize established tulips in spring before flowering. Fertilize again in the fall, if desired.
  • Do not cut the leaves back after flowering. The time period after flowering is when the tulips use energy to build strong points for proliferation the next year.

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