How to Grow

Optimum Planting Time: September – November
Flowers: March - April
Height: 10-70cm

Where to plant

Tulips flourish in well drained fertile soil in full sun.

How to plant in the ground

1. It’s recommended that tulips are planted slightly later than daffodils, in October and
November before the first hard frost hits. If planted earlier, they will start to grow, and this
may result in frost damage to the shoots as well as reducing the risk of the bulbs being
affected by viruses.
2. Dig a hole at least three times the depth of the bulb, approximately 10cm deep, with either
with a hand trowel or with a bulb planter and space about 15cm apart.
3. If you have heavy soil, add a bulb compost with horticultural grit to give your bulbs the best
4. Make sure the bulb tip is pointing upwards and then fill the hole, compacting the soil around
the bulb gently.
5. Water in so the soil is moist and apply a bone meal pellet fertiliser over the topsoil to
encourage flowering.

How to plant in containers

1. They don’t like waterlogged soil so add crocks or a layer of gravel to the bottom of a large
container to aid drainage.
2. Add a bulb compost to the container filling to around 20cm below the rim.
3. Place the tulip bulbs about 5-8cm apart, with the tips of the bulbs pointing up.
4. Fill the rest of the pot with compost, up to around 3cm from the top of the rim. Make sure
to firm the compost down between the bulbs and water thoroughly.
5. Stand the container in a sheltered position over autumn and winter before moving to sunny
position in April so you can fully enjoy the display.


1. When feeding in spring, use a liquid feed high in potash such as a comfrey concentrate so it
gets to the growing bulb quickly, feeding the roots.
2. Deadhead the tulip as soon as the flower has dropped its petals.
3. Wait for the leaves to die down and then remove to allow all the energy to go back into the
bulb for next year’s growth.
4. We recommend you leave the bulbs in the ground if your soil is free-draining and sandy.
Make sure they’re in a sunny spot over the summer, so they don’t rot in the ground while
they’re dormant.

Pests and Diseases

Tulips can be damaged by slugs and snails so applying organic pellets or copper tape is
recommended. Rodents can also be an issue but can be kept at bay with chicken wire. Plants can
also be affected by tulip fire, which is a fungal disease caused by Botrytis tulipae, producing brown
spots, and twisted, withered leaves. Remove infected bulbs promptly to avoid contaminating the soil
and don’t replant in the area.

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