How to Care for Tulip Flowers


Tulips come in an assortment of colors and grow easily. Tulip flowers look like vividly colored upside-down bells. Grown from seeds or bulbs, care for tulip flowers remains the same. Proper watering, mulching, fertilizing and removal of dead flowers help to grow thriving tulip flowers season after season. Digging up tulip bulbs is not necessary unless you prefer or need to thin out. The majority of varieties available will continue to bloom for several years.

Step 1

Use a shovel to add 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the tulip plants. This helps maintain moisture in the soil and stops weed growth. Remove any weeds that grow around tulips, if mulch is not used.

Step 2

Add fertilizer specifically for bulbs around the plants as directed when new growth appears in the spring. Repeat in 30 days.

Step 3

Supply water to the tulips only in dry times during the growing season. Provide one inch per week when needed.

Step 4

Stop watering when the tulip leaves turn yellow. Bulbs require a dry period during the summer and may rot or weaken if watered at this time.

Step 5

Use a sharp knife to remove the tulip flowers after the blossoms begin to fade. Do not remove the stem and leaves on the plant; this will encourage strong bulb development.

Step 6

Dig up any bulbs after the tulip plant has yellowed and died. Keep the bulbs in an airy and dry location to await fall planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Sharp knife


  • University of Kentucky Extension: Tulips and Their Care
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Bulbs -- Tulips and Daffodil Care After Bloom
  • Plant Biology: Guide to Growing Tulips - Tulipa

Who Can Help

  • Elegant Tulip Bulbs: Tulip Care
  • Flower Garden Bulbs: Tulip Care
  • Tulip Care Tips: Growing Tulips
Keywords: tulip bulbs, grow tulip flowers, Digging up tulip bulbs

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.