Tulips are slightly scented and come in a variety of single and bi-colors, from white to deep blue. Bloom times are between March and May, and heights range from 4 to 24 inches, depending on the variety. Grown in abundance and hybridized in the Netherlands since the mid 1500s, this spring-blooming bulb gained popularity rapidly across Europe before reaching the United States. About 93 percent of tulips sold worldwide come from the Netherlands. Potted tulip bulbs, like those forced to bloom early, can be planted outdoors in the fall before the ground freezes.
Water the potted tulips regularly until the petals drop. Continue to water lightly and regularly while the stems and leaves to die back naturally. The stems and leaves produce carbohydrates to nourish the bulbs after the blooms have faded. Stop watering when the foliage has completely died.
Loosen the soil of the potted tulips and remove the bulbs around September, in preparation for planting.
Dig a hole 8 to 10 inches deep outdoors in a sunny and well-drained location in the fall. For a natural look, gently toss the bulbs on the ground in the planting area, which creates a random arrangement. Dig the hole beneath each bulb. The bulbs should not be close enough to touch.
Toss a handful of organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, and bulb fertilizer, according to manufacturer's instructions, into the bottom of the hole.
Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end up. Fill the hole halfway, water, then finish filling the hole with the soil removed from the hole.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like pine bark, over the area.
Water again and water every seven to 10 days, if there is no rain, and until the first frost.