Planting Tulips in the Spring

planting tulipsMost gardeners feel that planting tulips in the spring is not the best idea.

However, there might be numerous reasons why you need to plant tulip bulbs now:

* Bulbs didn’t get planted the previous fall
* You have extra tulip bulbs that need planting
* You are done with winter and want to plant tulips
* You found a sale on tulip bulbs and couldn’t resist

If you understand how the tulip life cycle works then you might just be successful in reclaiming these beautiful flowers. Here are a few simple tips.

Tulips are available in a countless of colors ranging from the deepest purples to the softest pinks. It is no wonder that gardeners will try anything to make them bloom, even spring planting.

Planting Tulips Outdoors

Now generally bulbs like to winter over, it helps promote root growth. Ideally, a bulb requires 14-15 weeks of cool temperatures in order for it to bloom. So what you will have to do is plant as early in the spring as possible! As soon as you can work the ground you need to get the tulip bulbs planted!

If you live in zones 1 to 5, then you may have just enough cool weather to help your bulbs naturally bloom in late spring. On the other hand, if you live in southern zones where it is warmer then you have a less chance of success. More than likely, your bulbs will produce leaves but they will not bloom.


Tulip Bulbs & Forced Blooming

Here is where you trick Mother Nature. But I must say, a little bit of effort is well worth your time. Soon you will have tulips blooming in your home.  Here are a few easy steps to go by:

  • Fill a flower pot about ½ full with good organic soil
  • Your pot should be approximately be six to eight inches in diameter. That way you can plant several tulip bulbs
  • Put the tulip bulbs in the pot with the point facing up
  • Place your pot in the back of your refrigerator. Leave it there for 10-12 weeks or until you see shoots peeking through the soil. You can also check the bottom of the pot. If you see roots, then your bulbs are ready to come out of the refrigerator
  • It is now time to place your pot of tulip bulbs in the coolest area of your home
  • Slowly introduce your tulips to warmer temperatures. Avoid placing the pot in direct sunlight
  • When your tulips are acclimated then you can introduce sunlight slowly
  • Your tulips should bloom in about 4 weeks after they are taken out of the refrigerator
  • Once the tulip blooms die, cut the stems and leave the foliage.  Continue to water the bulbs until fall, and then plant them outside

Planting other Bulbs

tulip bulbs 2Hyacinths, daffodils and other flower bulbs can also be grown indoors. As you now know, growing forced bulbs requires minimal care. Flowers in the winter and early spring are a stunning gift for yourself or a loved one. They lighten the cold, dark and dreary days of winter

Crocus, hyacinths and narcissus can be forced in water. In fact, there are special clear glass vases made just for hyacinths or crocus.

Place the bulb in the upper portion of the vase with the water in the lower portion. Keep the vase in a cool, dark room (under 50 degrees F is perfect) for four to eight weeks. Make sure to wait until the top extends and the root system is developed, and then place the vase in a sunny window. Soon your beautiful bulbs will bloom.

More Information on Planting Flower Bulbs


Picture Credit

Featured Picture: Mukumbura via photopin cc

Numerous Orange Colored Tulips: Marcos Vasconcelos Photography via photopin cc

Underside of Orange Tulips: ♥siebe © via photopin cc

Indoor Tulips & Hyacinths: foroyar22 via photopin cc

10 thoughts on “Planting Tulips in the Spring

  1. Tulips in spring! What a perfect post and photographs for this time of year—and so informative. I watch for my tulips to bloom, then do my best to protect them from the deer that roam our Northwestern Colorado town, foraging for food. Too often, I lose and feel forlorn for a while. Any suggestions?


    • Hi

      Yes, deer can be a problem. Chicken wire over the bulbs until they come up. Also, try ground egg shell, they hate the smell of it!


      • We’ve tried the ground egg shell idea. Evidently Colorado deer don’t mind the smell; or we didn’t use enough. We’re thinking about the chicken wire. In the meantime, in our typically late spring, the first few tulips are barely pushing the snow-covered soil aside. Spring will happen!


      • Hi Aunt Beulah

        Hmmm, usually ground egg shell works for me. :-(.. Hopefully the chicken wire will do the trick because tulips are deers favorite. Let me know how it goes! I do love success stories!

        Yes, spring is near!


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