When to plant tulips? Planting techniques and best varieties

It takes approx. 7 minutes to read this article

Although tulips are mainly associated with Holland they are one of the most popular bulb flowers in Poland. Which species of tulips are worth having in your garden? When should we plant tulips?

The best tulip varieties

Tulips are divided into 15 groups which differ in shape, country of origin and flowering time.

  • early tulips – bloom in April. Popular varieties from this group are: Apricot Beauty, Christmas Dream and Princess Irene;
  • full early tulips – the diameter of flowers reaches even 10 cm. The most recommended varieties are: Peach Blossom, Abba and Monte Carlo;
  • Triumph – the biggest and the most popular group of tulips. Recommended varieties from this group are: Shirley, Garden Party and Negrita;
  • darwin’s hybrids – flowers of classic shape, bloom at the turn of April and May. Recommended varieties from this group are: Pink Impression, Apeldoorn and Spring Song;
  • single late – they bloom in May. Popular varieties in this group are: Maureen and Renown;
  • lily-shaped – they bloom in May, have characteristic stringy flowers. The most popular varieties from this group are: Ballade, Ballerina and White Triumphator;
  • shaggy – also called orchid, they bloom in late April and early May. The most popular varieties in this group are: Curley Sue, Lambada and Bell Song;
  • frieze – flowers with saw-like edges. They bloom in April and May. Recommended varieties: Arma, Hamilton, FancyFrills;
  • Viridiflora – varieties with greenish petals, begin blooming in May. Recommended varieties: China Town, Artist and Spring Green;
  • Rembrandt – tulips with pinnate petals. They bloom at the turn of March and April. Recommended varieties from this group are: Rems Favourite, Zurel and Sorbet;
  • Papules – known as tulips with deeply incised or twisted petals. They bloom in late April and early May. The most recommended varieties are: Apricot Parrot and Rococo;
  • full late – they look like peonies. They bloom in May. Recommended varieties from this group: Angélique, Wirosa and Orange Princess;
  • Kaufman ‘s lilies – they look like water lilies. They bloom from mid March to mid April. Recommended varieties from this group: Johann Strauss, Showwinner and Concerto;
  • Fostera – grown mainly in mountainous regions of Central Asia. They bloom on the end of March and beginning of April. Recommended varieties from this group are: Orange Breeze, Flaming Purissima and Orange Emperor;
  • Greiga – they look like botanical varieties. They begin to bloom in May. Recommended varieties: Captein’s Favourite, Red Riding Hood and Toronto;
odmiany tulipanów
Photo by congerdesign from Pixabay.com

How to buy tulip bulbs?

The best quality tulip bulbs appear in stores in August, which is also when they are the cheapest. Bulbs should be large and firm without any cracks, abrasions or dents. Weakened places in the bulb become an ideal place for the development of fungal diseases and other pathogens. The best bulbs also have no dried leaves or visible shoots.

When to plant tulips?

Tulip bulbs should be planted in autumn – between the beginning of September and the end of October. If the bulbs are planted in the spring, there is little chance that they will bloom. Tulips should be planted when the air temperature oscillates between 10 and 12 degrees. For the bulbs to take well, the ground can not be too moist or too dry.

The date of planting tulip bulbs is determined by the term of fungicide – a preparation used for disinfecting bulbs. After being treated with this preparation tulip bulbs are resistant to fungal diseases caused by pathogens present in soil.

>> See also: Which flowers should be planted in autumn to be happy in spring?

What is the best place for planting tulips?

Tulips grow best on sunny and semi-shaded positions. Early varieties of tulips can be planted under trees – by the time the trees are covered with leaves, the tulips will have already bloomed. Do not plant tulips in a place where there is a lot of shade – they will bloom poorly.

When to plant tulips in pots?

The answer to this question is not unequivocal. The date of planting bulbs in pots depends on when you want to enjoy the sight of tulips. Proper cultivation of tulips allows you to enjoy their view already 2-3 weeks after planting.

If you will be growing tulips in a pot on your balcony, you can choose one of two dates. Early spring, that is March or April – then you should leave the flowers at home to give them a little boost. If tulips will be the decoration of the balcony or terrace, then for outdoor pots they should be planted in May.

What is the best pot for planting tulips?

The best pots for planting tulips are ceramic pots. A layer of ceramic or pressed drainage should be put on the bottom of the pot. It is a good idea to put a fleece over the drainage so that it doesn’t get silted up.

The planting depth of tulips should be about 2 bulbs high. In a pot, the bulbs should be planted side by side.

Planting tulips step by step

Tulip bulbs should be planted into the soil immediately after purchase. This will ensure that they do not lose their precious water. If they need to be stored after purchase it is worth burying them in sawdust or sand and storing in a cool room e.g. in the cellar.

rosnący tulipan
Photo by katerinavulcova from Pixabay.com

Planting tulips step by step

1. Proper preparation of soil

Soil before planting should be well loosened, that’s why it is worth to dig it to the depth of 20 cm. If there are stones or weeds they should be removed. It is advisable to fertilize the soil with compost at this stage.

2. Planting bulbs

Bulbs should be placed vertically in the hole, previously sprinkled with a small layer of expanded clay to ensure proper drainage. Planting should be done very carefully so as not to damage the top layer of the bulb. The hole should be dug to the depth of 2 bulbs, or about 10 to 15 cm – the larger the bulb, the greater the depth of the hole.

Bulbs should be planted one next to another. This will make them look nicer, especially if they are irregularly shaped.

Planting in baskets as protection against pests

One way to protect your bulbs from pests is to plant them in baskets, which are special containers with holes. They have different sizes and shapes, so you can put several bulbs in one basket. Make sure that the space between the bulbs is filled with soil. Such a prepared basket should be buried in the ground.

Growing tulips in a pot – step by step

If tulips are grown in pots, then they should be located on a balcony or terrace south or south-west. If the flowers are to bloom earlier, it is worth setting them on a windowsill.

Tulips do not require any special care – they only need permeable soil and regular watering. Once the tulips have flowered, the bulbs should be left in the ground until the leaves have flowered and turned yellow

Fertilizing tulips

It is a good idea to plant tulip bulbs into soil that has been previously fertilized with compost. From March till the end of blooming one should fertilize tulips every two weeks. After every fertilizing you have to water flowers abundantly.

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