Many people wonder if they can plant tulips in spring. The answer is most certainly yes and there are several ways to do it! Tulips are gorgeous flowers of vibrant colors that bloom when warmer weather comes around.
There is no need to dwell if you did not get the chance to plant tulip bulbs in time. There is also the chance to plant them in springtime using one of the two effective methods that I will mention today.
Some bulbs cannot thrive if planted in spring, like the varieties Eranthis, Eremurus, Erythronium, Anemone, or Trillium. However, most of them can grow perfectly well if planted in spring. In this group, I can mention the hyacinths, narcissi, crocuses, and most importantly – tulips.
With a bit of time and attention to detail, you will be able to get your tulips to bloom in the same year.
What You Need To Know Before Planting Tulips
Tulips might look like they are tender, but the fact is that they are not. They can survive even through harsh conditions and cold weather.
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During winter, tulips tend to stay dormant and gather nutrients that they need to survive throughout the spring. This is why people tend to plant them in fall or early winter. However, what you need to know is that you can also plant the tulips in spring!
If you are planning on planting tulips in spring, there are several things that you need to do to get successful blooms. Make sure that the last frost has gone, plant them in a cold and moist area to give them the best chance to survive!
For years, people have been trying to figure out what conditions are best to grow different flowers and crops. They have found that two methods can help get blooms from your tulips in the same year after planting them in spring.
I will talk more about these two methods of growing tulips after planting them in spring, but before I do I will tell you more about the life cycle of the flower. This is all that you need to know before planting the tulips!
Tulip Flower and Their Life Cycle
Each tulip is its own powerhouse. It contains a lot of energy and nutrients that keep it alive even in harsh weather. It is also known to be quite smart since it knows exactly when it needs to grow roots, grow leaves, form its stem, and form buds that will later start blooming.
The usual time to plant tulips is in autumn or early winter because, in that way, they will have enough time to gather nutrients from the soil. These nutrients will help the flower bloom once spring comes around. By the time spring comes around, the tulips have already grown to their full extend and they start to go dormant once again.
Once the blooming period is done, the bulb focuses on gathering nutrients yet again. This happens until winter comes around and the flower enters its resting period once again. Then, they lie and wait for spring to come around and for them to start blooming again.
If anything, what this tells you is that the tulip has a specific life cycle. It is quite unusual for its life cycle to start in spring, but it is not impossible. There are several methods that you can employ to get the flower to bloom even when you plant it in spring instead of autumn.
Planting Tulips in Spring – Method No.1
If you want to use this method to grow tulips, you will have to do a bit of work yourself. The focus of this method is on the weather.
Before you plant the tulips, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have at least two weeks of cold weather before you. I mentioned when explaining the life cycle of the flower that they like to regenerate during the cold, so they will need some cold weather before they start blooming.
If you are at least two weeks away from the beginning of spring, then you can plant your tulips. Aside from the weather, there is not a lot of things that you should focus on.
Most tulip seeds or sprouts come with instructions on how and where to plant, so go ahead and get started with that right away. If you do not have instructions on how to plant the tulips, stay tuned since I will go over that shortly.
Planting Tulips In Spring – Method No.2
This method is focused on how to get the tulips to bloom. Better said, it is a way to force the flower into blooming and this can be achieved if you trick the flower into thinking that the weather conditions are perfect for it to bloom.
This method will need a bit more engagement on the part of the gardener. However, once you see those vibrant bulbs come to life, you will know that the effort was worth it. There are several steps that you need to follow if you want this method to work for you:
This method will not work with tulip seeds, only with well-formed bulbs.
Prepare the pot for planting by cleaning it and making holes for good drainage. The holes should be at least two times deeper than your bulbs.
Place a layer of gravel on the pot bottom.
Once the layer of gravel is in, put several more layers of multi-compost on top of it.
Put the bulbs on top of the compost.
Pot additional compost and add a bit of water as well.
When this is over, take the pot and place it in the refrigerator.
Keep the pot in the refrigerator until you see the first roots appear.
Once the first roots start to show, start acclimatizing the tulip to their growing site.
After some time, transplant the tulips or move the pots to the place where you will keep them for good.
If you follow all these steps, you should get some amazing tulips in no time. The only thing that you will need to worry about is whether the flowers having enough moisture and compost available to them. If this is available to the bulbs, they will get their nutrients and start growing in no time!
How to Plant Tulips?
You can easily plant tulips in spring following one of the two methods that I have mentioned so far. Some other things should also be taken into consideration if you want to succeed in getting those vibrant blooms in your garden.
Next, I will talk about finding the perfect planting site, planting the tulips, and caring for them. They do not require much maintenance, but there are still a few things to look out for.
Where to Plant Tulips?
It is very important to choose a good planting site for your tulips. The first thing to look out for is a spot that is in full sun. Tulips are not flowers that like to be in full shade all day long.
The spot where the tulips will be planted should have a specific type of soil. The soil needs to be moist at all times but not too moist, it should have good drainage, it should be acidic and a bit sandy. Also, make sure that they are not at the reach of any strong winds.
As for the spacing, the flowers will need to be at least 4 inches apart from one another. If planted too close, they will not be able to thrive. Therefore, you must give them just enough space!
How to Go About The Planting?
Before you plant the flowers, you will need to get the ground ready. Using a fork or tiller, you should loosen the soil and get it to a depth of a maximum of 15 inches before you add a few layers of compost.
When you have the ground ready, you should plant the bulbs at an even deeper level. It is also a good thing to create a raised bed for them. If you are not keen on doing that, then at least provide them with good drainage when planting them.
When you plant the bulb, make sure that you do so with the pointy end of it turned upwards. Cover the bulb with soil and press it firmly. Then, give the bulb some water but not too much.
If you are planting the bulbs on a raised bed, then you will need to add some fertilizer to the ground before the actual planting takes place. I have mentioned how bulbs like to store a lot of nutrients, so give them enough to store for the entire year.
Make sure that no insects, pests, or diseases can affect your bulbs. You can use a variety of things to keep animals and insects from your tulips. You can even add some wire around them to make sure that they grow uninterrupted.
There is no need to worry about the tulips – they can live even through bad weather conditions. If you are planting them in spring, make sure that you follow the method so that you can succeed more easily.
Planting Tulips in Spring
The basics on where to plant and how to plant tulips are the same for all seasons, no matter if you are planting them in spring or fall. If you plant them in spring, there are some additional things that you will need to think of.
Here are some of them.
When it comes to planting tulips in spring, you will need to do that in colder weather. Make sure that you have at least two weeks of cold weather before you when you plant the bulbs.
This will help the bulbs prepare for the blooming period by getting the nutrients that they need from the soil. If you do not have the luxury of cold weather, then consider adding the pots to the refrigerator and keep them there for at least two weeks.
Outside or Inside Planting?
Ideally, bulbs should be planted about two months before the first frost. However, if you plant them in spring, you will need to get them into the ground before the warm weather comes around.
Mild cold weather is ideal for growing tulips. That means that they can thrive if planted in spring as well, but you need to plant them the right way.
If you are planning on planting them indoors first, you will need to plant them and keep them refrigerated for at least a couple of weeks before you transfer them to the outdoors.
Transferring Potted Bulbs
When you get the first sprouts from your freshly planted bulbs, you should start thinking about transferring the flowers to the outdoors. When you take the pots from your refrigerator, leave them potted but outside for a couple of days before doing the transplanting.
This will help the flowers become familiar with the new climate, which will make the adjustment period shorter for them. Have them outside and in a pot at least a week before you transfer them.
Once you transfer them, take good care of them. Following the pointers that I have given throughout this guide, you should be able to grow some amazing flowers in no-time!
How To Grow Tulips?
Planting is only one part of the process of getting tulips in your garden. After you plant the initial bulbs, you will need to take proper care of them if you want them to grow. Now, I will talk about the things that you need to do to get the bulbs to thrive.
First things first, you will need to make sure that they are not overwatered or under-watered. In the chance of rain, put off the next watering until a drier day. If the day is warmer, then consider adding a bit more water to the flowers that day.
If you overwater the flower, the chance is that they will get fungus or some other disease that will lead to their premature death. The bulbs might even rot, so you will want to avoid this at all costs.
If you live in a place where it rains for most of the spring and summer, consider adding some sand, pine bark, or another type of rough materials that can drain the soil from excessive water.
Adding compost or fertilizer to the ground will help give the flowers enough nutrients. Throughout the winter, they use the nutrients to keep themselves alive and get the energy to bloom again in the spring.
If you want to add compost, make sure that you do so only once a year.
Once a flower starts to wilt, you will need to prune it. Deadheading is very important, but under no circumstances should you remove the leaves of the flowers. Remove the deadheads only, or the parts of the foliage that have turned yellow.
Chance is that your tulips will spread on their own. This is common with the small types, while the larger ones will need to be replanted. Remove the remaining tulips, clean the soil and then plant the new ones.
Pests and Diseases
Some of the common problems that can arise with tulips include diseases and pests. The flowers can suffer from mold, rot, or even fungus.
As for animals, tulips are known to have problems with snails, mice, voles, rabbits, and squirrels. If you are experiencing these problems, then consider adding some wire around your garden to keep them out. It might be a good idea to add a repellent or deterrent to the garden as well.
Which Tulip Planting Method Works Best For You?
Planting tulips in spring is possible only if you follow the steps that I have mentioned. If the weather is still cold, plant them outside. If it is not, try planting and refrigerating them before transferring them to the ground.
By following the steps that I have mentioned, you should have vibrant tulips in your garden in no time. I hope this guide helped you to make your garden more beautiful. Let me know which method you chose and if it worked for you in the comment section below!