Tulip: planting, cultivation, maintenance and flowering


The tulip is a bulbous plant of which there are nearly 130 different species and more than 4,500 varieties. We love the colorful touches it brings to the garden, to the terrace, the balcony or the window sill since it can be grown in the ground as well as in a pot. The tulip is absolutely perfect because it grows everywhere. It is therefore ideal for all flower lovers, including beginner gardeners. Let’s see how to plant it, take care of it and take stock of what to do after its flowering.

Plant tulips

The tulip loves well-drained soils and is content with any garden soil. She particularly appreciates sunny situations sheltered from strong winds because the gusts can damage its flowers.

Period and method of planting

We plant the tulips from fall, from October until December 15, to have the pleasure of enjoying their flowering from the beginning of spring. But some people only buy their bulbs at the end of winter. In this case, it is essential to plant them immediately after purchase, if possible during the first days of spring in order to see them flower a few weeks later.

To see flourish of big tulips, it is necessary to choose large bulbs. Be careful at the time of purchase: we avoid bulbs that lack freshness. If they start to get dry, they will not flower.

The procedure to plant tulips in the ground is the following :

  • Dig holes 2.5 times the size of the bulbs, preferably using a cylindrical bulb planter,
  • Respect an interval of 15 cm between the holes,
  • Put a handful of potting soil at the bottom,
  • Place one bulb per hole, positioning it with the point upwards,
  • Fill the hole again and cover the bulb with 10 cm of soil,
  • Tamp down moderately,
  • In the absence of rain and if the soil is very dry, moderate watering is required.

For a successful effect, it is advisable to create groups of at least 12 to 15 tulips, either of the same color or of assorted colors, and we can also play on the shape of the flowers in order to create sumptuous compositions. .

Plant your tulips in pots is no more complicated than installing them in the ground. Plus, the tulip really does in planters and other containers. In an average pot, you can plant between 3 and 5 tulips. The bulbs should be covered with a good ten centimeters of potting soil. Be careful to use a pierced bottom pot, which allows the water to flow well. Optionally, a drainage layer such as clay balls or small pebbles can be placed on the bottom in order to promote the flow of rainwater or irrigation water.

You have to be careful, especially when you opt for a planting tulips in spring because the germ has already started to develop. Above all, it should not be broken when handled or covered with soil.

Use of tulips

This is the undeniable asset of gardens in spring. It can be used in beds, flower beds along an alley, in a rockery, or in pots and planters. The tulip can be combined with many other spring flowering plants and is a great solution to fill a few gaps between perennials.

Many associations are possible by cultivating for example the tulip with the muscari, the daffodil, the narcissus, the hyacinth, the iris, etc. For flower base of potted shrubs, do not hesitate to plant tulips and others which also allows you to enjoy alternate flowering.

Maintain your tulips

It is not absolutely essential to store your tulips in a room during the winter (except exceptional cold) because they can easily withstand temperatures of around -25 ° C. They are indeed beautiful rustic. If some gardeners winter their tulips in pots, it is more to protect the container from frost and prevent it from bursting.

The tulip a undemanding plant. We can possibly make a contribution ofbulb fertilizer at the time of planting then as soon as the leaves point the tip of their nose in order to boost flowering.

About the watering, it is the spring rains that take care of it and that is enough. You can water your tulips only in severe drought or scorching temperatures.

Blooming tulip

Depending on the variety, the flowering of tulips takes place between early March and mid-June. Each bulb produces only one flower per year for the majority of species. More rarely, we can find so-called multiflora tulips. These are varieties with branched flower stems which therefore produce several tulips.

Once the deflowering, we cut the stem for aesthetic reasons, but not only since the bulb will not run out unnecessarily during the formation of seeds. But we do not touch the leaves because it is through them that the bulb stores nutrient reserves. You have to wait until they are wilted to cut them, otherwise the bulb will not have time to build up its reserves or even to reach maturity. A minimum delay of 6 weeks after the end of flowering must be respected.

The bulbs can then be unearthed then put away. They can be placed in boxes and then stored in a cool and well-ventilated room until autumn, during which time they can be replanted. They will bloom again more beautiful the following spring. We follow exactly the same process for tulips grown in pots if we want to store them out of the ground in a room.

However, it is not compulsory to store your bulbs between two periods. They may well stay in the ground all year round, and from year to year. Moreover, over time, they divide to give rise to other tufts. Those are the botanical tulips which multiply as well. On the other hand, many new varieties left in the ground eventually become impoverished and produce tulips smaller and smaller year after year. They therefore benefit from being dug up after flowering.

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