Planting Instructions by Flower Name
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- Hardy Zones: 3-7
- Spacing: 4-5"
- Height: 24-26"
- Blooms: mid to late spring
- Planting Depth: 6"
- Ships As: package of 6 bulbs
- Full Sun
- Partial Shade
- Good for cutting
About: Tulips are in the Lily family and are native to Eastern Europe and central and western Asia. They are one of the oldest plants in cultivation, with thousands of varieties developed over the years. They were introduced into Europe in 1554, where their popularity peaked with Tulipomania in the early 1600s. The craze has subsided, but the tulip’s popularity remains, with a multitude of forms and colors to choose from. Our Red Tulips will produce blooms of vibrant color on strong stems, and are an excellent choice for bouquets.
Planting: Plant tulip bulbs with the pointed end up, roughly three times their height deep and three times their width apart. If in doubt, plant a little deeper, which allows for longer lasting bulbs and less chance of predation by ground digging rodents. An ideal location is one that receives morning sun and some afternoon shade. Plant in groups of at least five bulbs for best effect. Fertilize after planting with a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Tulips are heavy feeders and will benefit from the nutrients slowly working their way down through the soil over the next several months. Water well and apply a two-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.
Maintenance: Make sure the plants receive enough water in the spring, when they are pushing up through the ground. Half an inch of rain or water is needed each week to ensure the bulbs flower to their full potential. Deadhead spent blooms to divert more energy back to the bulbs. Tulip bulbs are drought tolerant after the foliage begins to die back. Do not cut back foliage after blooming. The bulbs need it to replenish their energy supply for next year’s blooms. Plant among other bulbs and perennials to conceal the unattractive foliage after blooming. The foliage may be cut back when it yellows. Fertilize again in the fall.Tulips generally put on their best show the first spring then start to lose vigor, the flowers becoming smaller and fewer in numbers each year. Some people treat tulips as annuals and plant fresh bulbs each autumn. Some bulbs, known as perennial tulips, tend to last longer, sometimes up to 5-7 years.
A note for our Southern friends: Tulips require a period of chilling. If you do not receive at least eight consecutive weeks of temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, you will need to give your bulbs an artificial winter. This affects people living in zones 9 and 10, and parts of zone 8. Chill tulip bulbs in your refrigerator for eight weeks in a vented bag. Keep away from fruit, as the ethylene gas given off by the ripening process can kill the developing flower embryos. Plant immediately after the chilling process, ideally in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Bulbs treated in this manner cannot be easily saved for the next year and should be treated as annuals.