How deep and how far apart should I plant my tulip bulbs? Generally, tulips are planted about 6 inches below the soil surface and about 4 inches apart.

How much sun should my tulips get? Most tulips need quite a bit of sun. Plant them in a lightly shaded area that receives sun and some chill from the shade.

Which side of the bulb goes up at planting time? The pointed side faces up when planting.

What kind of soil is best for growing tulips? Generally speaking, a loose, sandy soil is best for tulips so they drain well. Although tulips like lots of moisture during the growing season, they cannot handle too much.

When should I plant tulip bulbs? 


    It’s time to start planting your tulip bulbs! The perfect time to put your bulbs into the ground is when the soil has dropped below 60 degrees and is still workable.


    Your bulbs are in the cooling phase to use the cold weather to prepare for the spring and to grow roots. While you’re settling in for winter, so are they.


    Your flowers have pushed out of the bulb, and you can start to see tulips in full bloom. Sit back and enjoy the view.


    When the blooming period passes, cut your blooms to ensure beautiful tulips the next year.

How do I store tulip bulbs? Wash soil off the bulbs and place them in a single layer in a basket that is not sealed. Store the bulbs in a cool, dry area until autumn when they can be replanted directly in the ground or into pots.

Can tulip bulbs be transplanted? Tulip bulbs can be transplanted once they’ve begun sprouting. Replant the sprouting tulip bulbs about the same depth as a bulb in the fall. Fertilize it with an organic fertilizer and water well.

When should I lift tulips? Once the leaves have discolored, the bulbs should be lifted and allowed to dry naturally. 

Should I buy new tulip bulbs every year? The tulip bulb already contains within itself all the essential ingredients to reflower. But most will not blossom as beautiful after two or three years. 

How do I prune tulips? When the tulip flowers are gone, snap off the heads by hand or with a pruning shears. Leaves should be left in place until they’re completely yellow and separate easily from the bulb with gentle tugging. If removed too early, the bulbs will not flower the next year.

Do I have to lift tulips even if I have many that keep coming back year after year? Yes, because tulips root late in the year and typically  rot if left planted in the ground. 

How and when should I fertilize bulbs?Fertilize in fall and spring. If in the spring, fertilize as the shoots first appear. A high nitrogen, fast-release fertilizer may be added which will help promote future performance.

How do I plant and take care of my tulip bulbs? Make sure to plant the bulbs deep enough (6 – 8 inches). Then make sure they receive enough water (1 time per month before bloom, 1 time per week after bloom). Mulch may be needed for extra insulation only for the winter months or a fertilizer.

Visit for more information on Orange City’s annual Tulip Festival

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