The perfect time to plant Tulips has arrived!

The reasoning behind planting tulips in the late fall (October- November) is that tulips require 12-14 weeks of temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in order to bloom in the spring. It is also helpful because the low temperatures suppress the fungal growth in the bulbs. Planting later in the season like November helps avoid the peak of wildlife animals that hoard food for the winter.

Plant in the Fall for Spring Bloom

Tulip bulbs are planted in the autumn before the ground freezes. By planting varieties with different bloom times, you can have tulips blooming from early to late spring. Some types are good for forcing into bloom indoors and most are excellent for cut flowers, too.

Tulip flowers are usually cup-shaped with three petals and three sepals. There’s a tulip for every setting, from small “species” tulips in naturalized woodland areas to larger tulips that fit formal garden plantings from beds to borders. The upright flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups, bowls, and goblets to more complex forms. Height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet. One tulip grows on each stem, with two to six broad leaves per plant.

HOW TO GROW TULIPS

If it rains weekly, do not water. However, if there is a dry spell and it does not rain, you should water the bulbs weekly until the ground freezes.

Rainy summers, irrigation systems, and wet soil are death to tulips. Never deliberately water a bulb bed unless in a drought. Wet soil leads to fungus and disease and can rot bulbs. Add shredded pine bark, sand, or any other rough material to the soil to foster swift drainage.

Apply compost annually to provide nutrients needed for future blooms.

In the spring, when leaves emerge, feed your tulip the same bulb food or bone meal which you used at planting time. Water well.

Deadhead tulips as soon as they go by, but do not remove the leaves!

Allow the leaves to remain on the plants for about 6 weeks after flowering. The tulips need their foliage to gather energy for next year’s blooms! After the foliage turns yellow and dies back, it can be pruned off.

Large varieties may need replanting every few years; small types usually multiply and spread on their own.

 

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