Tulip Planting Guide

Of all the Spring Bulbs, Tulips are without a doubt the most popular… their elegance, colours, shapes and pure beauty is a site to behold.

All of Bulbs Direct’s Tulips are grown with love and passion in the South Island, and are lovely plump specimens.

Tulips are incredibly hardy, and will grow in any part of the country.

Tulips are grown on an extremely large scale, especially in the Netherlands where their history goes back to the end of the sixteenth century - That was when the first tulips were noticed growing in the vicinity of Leiden.

Now, more than 400 years later, billions of tulips are being cultivated, the vast majority of them in Holland.

The “garden tulips” that we know of today are the result of hybridization in which the species Tulipa gesneriana played an important role. Now there are more than 3,000 cultivated varieties registered, and more exciting varieties being added each year to replace older ones.

Tulip Planting Guide

Tulips love colder climates, but also do incredibly well in warmer climates (even as far North as the Cape!)  - if you don’t have a cold climate like ourselves, we recommend chilling your Tulip Bulbs for 6 to 8 weeks prior to planting. This will trick them into thinking they are having their Winter period, and prolong their stems and Flowering period.

If you’re chilling them as we do, you should leave them in their paper bags, and pop into your fridge around late March - taking them out to plant late May. Keep an eye on your Bulbs as they are being chilled as you don’t want them to go moldy.

Planting into the ground...

  • Pick a nice sunny spot for your Tulip Bulbs - Full Sun or Part Shade if you’re in a warm region.
  • Plant in free draining soil, around 10cm deep (in cool regions), and 15cm in warmer regions, and leave spacings of around 10cm to give them room for expansion. If your soil isn’t free draining, you’ll need to raise the beds slightly to ensure they don’t get bogged down during the Winter Months.
  • Give your Bulbs a kick start using our specially prepared Bulb Food… they’ll thank you for it with an even better display.

Planting in pots…

  • Ensure you get a good quality potting mix, and mix in a bit of compost for good measure.
  • Plant your Tulip Bulbs 10cm deep, with spacings of only 1 or 2cm’s (this will give you a stunning display!)
  • Give them a nice deep watering to begin with, and site your pots in an area that gets Full Sun to Part Shade. It’s essential to keep watering them, as potting mix will easily dry out.
  • Add some mulch on top to keep the soil moisture in… and the weeds out! Ensure that the mulch fairly fine.

After their Spring flowering (and before they go to seed), we recommend deheading the flowers (if you haven’t already cut them for your vase). This will ensure that all of the energy is put back into the Tulip Bulb, rather than energy going into the formation of seed.

It’s important not to cut down the leaves until they are yellow, as this is a vital part of the growing process.

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