Tulips with Orange, Purple, Red and Yellow Flowers - Credits: Jovanel
Tulips with Orange, Purple, Red and Yellow Flowers - Credits: Jovanel

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

If where, when and how to plant tulip bulbs is the question, in the right place, in the right time and with the appropriate technique, is the answer.

Now, if the question is why one wants to plant tulips, the answer is more than obvious:

Because tulips belong to the category of the most popular bulbous plants for the garden, the flowerbed, the flowerpot, both for their color and for the shape of their flowers, which in some modern varieties, far from the typical one, reaches spectacular limits.

Then, the planting of the most recognizable flower of Holland – although of Oriental origin – is not a problem. Proper site, proper season and the proper method make up the 3P of the secret recipe that leads to success.

The remaining 3P – proper substrate, variety and bulb – will remain, as will be exhaustively described below, hidden secrets for ever.

… So, where, how and when are the tulips planted?

Orange and fuchsia tulips along with blue grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum), in the paradise of bulbous plants, in the exemplary gardens of the Keukenhof, in the Netherlands.

Orange and Fuchsia Tulips along with Blue Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum), in the Exemplary Gardens of the Keukenhof, in the Netherlands
Tulips in the famous botanical gardens of the Keukenhof
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Tulip Bulbs Planting Season And Location

Tulips are spring flowering and autumn planting bulbs that, as strange as they may seem, can be planted almost anywhere in the garden.

The ‘almost’ of course excludes the lawn, because tulips there have the bad habit of rotting. However, the plant lover can trust the positive side of ‘almost’, and be compensated by planting tulips in front of hedges in the first or second row in height, as well as edging, flower beds and alleys.

And if he/she, by nature, is an optimistic character, he/she can plant the tulips even in any kind of planters, pots and containers, to decorate its courtyard, the balcony or the terrace.

On the other hand, the determined grower with appropriate research and selection of varieties can enjoy flowering tulips for a relatively long period of about two months.

In all cases, whether it is planting tulips in the garden or in the pot, it is recommended to the plant lover to plant them always in groups.

What does ‘groups’ mean?

It means that in order to create an extremely strong color effect, tulips should be planted in groups of at least 10-25 bulbs of the same variety.

It is understandable that, especially in the garden, the larger the available planting area, the more the number of bulbs and varieties to be planted is increased.

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs - Red Tulips Planted in Half-Shadow - Credits: Sylabo
Red Tulips Planted in Half-Shadow - Credits: Sylabo

The Role of Light & Location in Tulip Growth & Flowering

Tulips to thrive need full exposure to the sun or light shade as far south as they grow.

Of course when planted in semi-shady areas they tend to become and / or become taller while their flowering lasts longer.

On the contrary, tulip bulbs planted in full sun exposure have lesser height and flowering duration.

However, it must be taken seriously by the plant lover the fact, that in such an exhibition the colors of their flowers are ejected to their full splendor.

In addition and regardless of the presence of shading or not, tulips as close as possible to the house or building are planted, or planted in front of a wall with south exposure, then bloom remarkably earlier.

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

The Impressive Orange Color Flower of 'Orange Princess' Tulip Variety
The Impressive Orange Color Flower of 'Orange Princess' Tulip Variety

Preparing Soil for Tulip Bulbs Planting

The tulip develops better in the light, sandy to sandy clay, mostly soils.

In such soils and for the improvement of their properties, an organic substance is added at a volume ratio of soil – organic substance (peat or compost) of 2: 1.

If the soil to be planted the bulbs is more sandy, it is added organic substance (peat or compost) in a ratio of 1: 1.

If it is more clayey (heavy, up to silty clay loam) peat or compost is added with perlite or zeolite in a ratio of 1: 1: 1 and 1: 1: 2 throughout the area to be planted. Also in these soils care is taken to ensure excellent soil drainage.

In the phase of good mixing and homogenization of the materials, a controlled release fertilizer may be added to the soil mixture.

The fertilizer is recommended to be of the 1: 1: 1 type (eg 10-10-10) and the amount administered is 80-100 g for each square meter.

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs - Flowered Tulips of the Variety ‘Angelique’ with Candytufts (Iberis sempervirens)
Flowered Tulips of the Variety ‘Angelique’ with Candytufts (Iberis sempervirens) - Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs -

Preparing Potting Soil for Tulips

Many companies that make remarkable to gorgeous planters, pots, window boxes and containers put them on the market without open holes in the bottom of these products.

This is undoubtedly an important benefit for the plant lover, who in this way and by these means, wants to collect, for example, the rain water.

But if the plant lover intends to initiate and use these pots and containers exclusively for planting, then the advantage becomes a disadvantage, and he must necessarily open the necessary holes in the bottom.

Why is the plant lover willing to make such a dramatic gesture of nature?

For the simple reason that excess water of watering or rain should unswervingly find its way to the sea (and fish).

And for another simple reason, because this creates the right conditions to ensure optimal drainage of the pots, together with the other appropriate manipulations, will guarantee the unobstructed growth and health of the bulbous plants.

On the occasion of the latter, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ takes the courage to propose to the plant lover the following:

  • After opening the holes, let’s add a layer of 3-5 cm thick hazelnut size pumice to the bottom of the pots
  • Then fill the pots with a soil mix consisting of good quality packed or garden soil, peat or compost, and perlite, in a ratio of 1: 1: 1 (or alternatively obtain a packaged soil mixture specifically for bulbous)
  • Then, with great care, let’s move on to the next chapter, right after watching the intercalaryvideo clip from Keukenhof’s botanical gardens – the paradise of the bulbous plants and of course the tulip

Intercalary Video

The making of Keukenhof or the planting of 7 million bulbs, with the planting lion's share going to the tulips
Kalliergeia
Editorial Team
Τουλίπες με Πορτοκαλί, Μωβ, Πορφυρά και Κίτρινα Άνθη - Από Jovanel
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Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs - Purple and Red Tulips in Bloom - Credit 3dman
Purple and Red Tulips in Bloom - Credit 3dman - Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Inspired by what the plant lover has just seen (and ventures only his/her good fortune that does not force him/her to plant 7 million bulbs by hand – with the planting lion’s share going to the tulips), he/she invests all his/her positive aura at the planting ceremony of some only few dozens of tulip bulbs.

But having not yet decided how to plant the tulips on the garden and the flower pot, he/she reflects on the years that have passed and the years will come.

And while the plant lover reflects, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ takes the opportunity to present how to plant tulips in the garden and the pot, to the reader of this endeavour.

How to Plant Tulip Bulbs in the Garden

So, the tulip bulbs planting in the garden, take place either individually, in separate locations, or in groups.

In the separate locations, the hole is opened and only a tulip bulb – preferably large – is planted.

In group planting, the bulbs of tulips are placed in grooves or in a wider area after the soil has been shifted.

Then the bulbs are covered with the soil and the soil is pressed very lightly.

The depth of planting varies from 12 to 15 cm (in very light soils it can reach up to 20 to 30 cm), while the distance from bulb to bulb generally ranges from 10 to 15 cm.

Upon completion of the process of tulip bulbs planting, there is plenty of watering.

As soon as the soil has settled, it is filled with a soil mixture and it is repeated once again the watering.

How to Plant Tulip Bulbs in Pots

Tulip bulbs planting in pots and containers starts by adding a soil mixture up to 12 to 15 cm from their lips.

Depending on the size of the planters, a corresponding number of tulips bulbs are left in them, and 10 cm apart from each other.

Then the bulbs are covered with the soil mixture, up to 2 to 3 cm from the lips of the pots, and are watered.

Once the water has drained, and once the soil mix has settled, another 2 to 3 cm from the lips of the pots soil is added, and the watering is repeated.

Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Orange, Yellow and Red Tulips in Linear Planting with Flowers - Credit: DorineFrequin
Orange, Yellow and Red Tulips in Linear Planting with Flowers - Credit: DorineFrequin

References

All in all, another yet slightly delirious article reaches hopefully at its end. The References of this slightly delirious article titled Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs, are presented totally unintentionally the ancient Dutch Focus rock band with its unforgettable creation ‘Hocus Pocus‘.

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Where, When and How to Plant Tulip Bulbs - Tulips and Muscari in the Famous Botanical Gardens of the Keukenhof
Tulips and Muscari in the Famous Botanical Gardens of the Keukenhof

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