Whether you are planting or cutting tulips, these tips gathered from gardeners and designers featured in Flower will help you get the best results.
Tips for Growing Tulips
- Plant tulips when temperatures average 60 degrees or lower. (This could be September in the North and December in the South.)
- Check with your local cooperative extension service to see if you need to pre-chill your bulbs prior to planting. If you pre-chill bulbs in the refrigerator, keep them away from vegetables, because they release a gas that can keep bulbs from flowering.
- Bulbs like soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Have a soil test performed prior to planting in case you need to add lime or aluminum sulfate.
- Be sure to plant in a sunny area with well-drained soil. Tulip bulbs rot in standing water.
- Plant large bulbs a little deeper than recommended to ensure strong stalks.
- Fertilize in fall and early spring with a bulb fertilizer to ensure stronger bulbs and a slightly longer bloom time.
- Water your bulbs after planting. You should not have to water them again unless you live in a naturally dry area.
Tips for Cutting Tulips
- Cut the flowers to bring in your home just before the bud fully blooms.
- When cutting or purchasing cut tulips, wrap the stems in wet paper towels to keep them from drying before you get them home.
- Cut each tulip stem at an angle with a sharp knife or floral snips. This will make the tulips last longer and make them easier to insert into the arrangement.
- Remove unwanted leaves by gently pulling them back and peeling them away from the stem.
- To keep tulip petals from opening up any further, take a straight pin and prick each tulip through the stem just beneath its bloom.
- In case you have a droopy tulip, you can wire it around the stem from top to bottom to hold it upright.
More Tulips and Spring Arrangements
- Learn all about tulips and how to make beautiful tulip arrangements from tastemakers in the floral, event, garden and interiors world.
- Tulipomania and how history’s wildly coveted tulip found its way to today’s gardens.
- Our Favorite Tulip Arrangements – This collection inspires with cheerful bunches of single-color tulips, glorious combinations of tulips and other spring blossoms and fantastic centerpieces.
- For the Love of Narcissus – These blooms are a favorite harbinger of spring and, with their cheerful faces, become total show-offs.