The Rites of Spring

tulip,darwin,rembrant,bulbs,how to grow tulips,growing conditions,common problems,disease resistant

Tulips are classified with perennials but often need to be treated as annuals. Dig up your tulips once the foliage has died & store them in a cool dry area for replanting in the fall. Tulips need well drained soil. To improve drainage add sand and compost to your soil. Tulips enjoy full sun.


“Tulips are true bulbs but people often generalize tubors, corms and rhizomes along with bulbs. They all store their own food underground.”


Tulips originated in Turkey getting their name from the Turkish word “tulbend” which means turban. Tulips were thought to look like the turbans. (Hats that were worn in Turkey at that time.) I have always mistakenly associated the origin of Tulips with Holland. Tulips were introduced to Holland from Persia.


    Tips for Growing Tulips: 

  • If you are planting other bedding plants amongst tulips; it is a good idea to plant them before the bulbs, so as not to damage the bulbs with the trowel later.
  • Sandy soil is best for Tulips (or any bulb) to increase and flower in later years. Good Drainage is essential. For best results plant bulbs in October or November. As a rule of thumb, the depth that tulips should be planted is approximately three times the length of the bulb.
  • Tulips are very disease resistant; however can be troubled by “Tulip Fire”. Stems and leaves of plants become deformed and stunted. Later they will display brown patches. If this occurs bulbs should be destroyed.
  • Over crowded bulbs can also cause problems in your garden. If this occurs, dig up your tulips just before all the foliage has completely died down and divide by pulling smaller new bulbs from the base of the old bulb and replant them.
  • After flowering, it is ok to deadhead your tulips but always allow the leaves to die off naturally. If you are concerned about the appearance of the fading greens, try braiding the leaves.
  • Tulips make excellent cut flowers and usually last about a week in a vase. Don’t forget to add a little sugar to your water to prolong the life of your bouquet.
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