Tulip Growing Guide



Crop Rotation Group



Average garden soil with excellent drainage.


Full sun. In less than full sun, tulip blossoms will twist toward the strongest directional light.

Frost tolerant

Excellent. Most tulips are hardy to -37C (-35F); cold tolerance varies with species.


Topdress with rich compost in spring, when new growth appears. Fertilise established clumps with a balanced organic fertiliser in the autumn.


Tulips bloom at the same time as dogwoods and other spring-flowering trees in most areas. Perennial candytuft makes an ideal companion plant. Planting tulips behind daylilies or other summer-blooming perennials hides the fading foliage from view.


Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 10cm (3") with 15cm (5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out dormant bulbs from late summer to early winter. Allow 10cm (4in) between bulbs of miniature tulips, and 15cm (6in) between taller varieties. Cover the bulbs to four times their depth with loose soil.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Tulips will return for several years where winters are cold, but may rot when grown in warm, moist areas. Colours choices are endless, from white to almost black. Clear primary colours create a festive effect in a mixed planting.


Cut tulips to use as cut flowers just as the buds open. As the flowers fade in the garden, trim them off with scissors or secateurs.


Tulips are often eaten by deer and squirrels. Hot pepper sprays help to deter these nibblers.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Tulip