How to Plant Tulip Bulbs Late


Planting tulip bulbs in late spring may create blooms. Climate, temperature and orientation will dictate the vigor of the spring-growing plants. According to the North Dakota Extension Service, bulbs that have missed their fall to late winter planting will still benefit from being planted in the spring. In most cases, the tulips bulbs will produce blooms if placed in the ground correctly.

Step 1

Prepare the tulip growing bed by digging the soil and turning it over to a depth of 8 inches deep. If a rototiller will fit into the tulip bed, work the soil to the same depth with the mechanical device.

Step 2

Add 5 tbsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer and two cups of bone meal into a 10-foot-square area of the tulip growing bed. Mix the nutrients into the soil with either the shovel or rototiller.

Step 3

Plant the tulip bulbs by digging a single hole that is two times to three times the depth that the bulb is tall. In other words, if the tulip bulb is 2 inches in height, make the hole 4 inches to 6 inches deep. The bulbs should be planted no closer than 2 inches apart. Place one bulb per hole.

Step 4

Press the soil down around the bulb. Water the bulbs immediately after planting. The water must reach to the bulb depth.

Step 5

Dig a hole next to a few bulbs in various locations around the tulip bed to check the depth of moisture. Do not allow the growing bed to become over-watered or turn muddy. The bulbs will rot in the ground if too wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Bone meal
  • Hand trowel


  • North Dakota Extension Service: Questions on Tulips
  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs and More
Keywords: late bulbs, tulip beds, grow tulips

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.