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Tulip Growing Guide

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Plant November - Early December, this prevents the bulbs from growing too early and will avoid the disease tulip fire. 


In borders or pots, with the pointy end up, plant twice the width of the bulb apart and two or three times the depth of the bulb. 

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Sunny, well drained and fertile soil or compost. It is best to enrich the soil before planting.

Tall varieties need to be in a spot sheltered from strong winds. They also dislike excessively wet conditions, so good drainage is a must for tulips.

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Tulips flower between March - May. 

Most bedding-type (i.e. not species) tulips are best replaced each year. If left in the ground, they are unlikely to re-flower after their first year.

Tulips come in all sorts of fabulous shapes, colours and sizes. Tulips can be divided into 15 categories, mainly based on their flower characteristics. In broad terms tulip flowers are: 

• Single

• Double

• Cup-shaped

• Bowl-shaped

• Goblet-shaped

• Fringed

• Parrot

• Lily-flowering

• Slender-tepalled

• Star-shaped


Many tulips are right at home in borders and containers and the majority of tulips are used as perenial bedding plants.

Sometimes if the bulbs survive the winter in the ground and are baked in the summer sun, they may re-flower the next year, however this is not a guarantee. 

For more certain repeat flowering, smaller species such as 'Tulips Tarda'  or varieties from the T. fosteriana, T. greigii or kaufmanniana family can be planted in rockeries. Other varieties are better for naturalising in grass, notably the low-growing tulip T. sprengeri.

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