How to Plant Tulip Bulbs


Tulips are one of the first perennial plants to make their appearance each and are a sure sign that spring has arrived. Their underground root systems, called bulbs, are extremely hardy and can survive during the winter, when they also grow underground fleshy roots, essential to water absorption. Tulip bulbs are best planted in the fall so they will grow and bloom the first spring.

Step 1

Select a location to plant your tulip bulbs. It should be in full sun and have well-draining soil.

Step 2

Till the soil 12 inches deep. This will help loosen the soil and make it more conducive to better drainage.

Step 3

Amend the soil, if necessary. Dig a hole that is 2 feet deep and fill it with water. If after 24 hours any water remains, it is not well-draining. Mix in 3 to 4 inches of organic matter (such as peat moss or compost) to the top 12 inches you just tilled.

Step 4

Plant the tulip bulbs 6 to 7 inches deep and about 5 inches apart. Place the bulbs so the tips face upward.

Step 5

Backfill the soil and water the planting site well. Pack down the soil so that it is firm and free from any air pockets.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden rake
  • Shovel
  • Trowel


Keywords: plant tulip bulbs, grow tulips, plant spring bulbs

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.