Information on Tulip Bulbs


Tulips are a perennial flower with a bulb that is native to Holland and Turkey. They require cold winters and hot summers to come back year after year.


Plant tulips in well-drained, loose soil. Soil that is always wet will drown the bulbs and promote disease or fungus. Add compost, sand or sawdust to make the soil more airy. Work soil amendments to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.


Tulips should be fertilized and watered when planted. Fertilize established tulips in the fall.


Plant tulips point-side-up and 8 inches deep from the base of the bulb. If topping with mulch, include that in the depth calculation. Tulips should be planted 4 to 6 inches apart.


Deadhead the tulips after the bloom has died, but allow stems and leaves to die down normally. This will help the bulb grow and store energy for next year.


Tulips can be dug up every three years to divide the bulbs and prevent overcrowding. In warmer zones (above zone 8) tulips should to be dug up each year.


Camouflage old tulip foliage with annuals. Tulip leaves can be pruned down in late summer.


  • Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Who Can Help

  • Bulb growth chart
  • USDA Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: planting tulips, soil amendments, die down

About this Author

Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.