How To Grow Tulips

One of the most beloved spring flowering bulbs, tulips are planted in fall and bloom in spring. Tulips have a wide range of colors, forms, height, and bloom times.



Tulips are native across Central Asia and known to have grown in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) since 1055. They were cultivated in Persia (modern-day Iran) beginning in the 10th century.  


  • Ornamental
  • Cut flowers
  • Landscaping




  • Plant tulips late in the season, ideally November, when the cooler fall temps can help to protect against fungal pathogens and hungry squirrels.
  • Plant tulips 6 to 8 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Most varieties just produce a single stem per bloom, so they are best planted in clusters of 10 or more.
  • Tulips can range in height widely, from diminutive dwarf varieties to towering types reaching 20-30 inches tall.
    It is essential to keep in mind the height of the variety that you are planting, as this will determine where to place them in the design.


  • Tulips prefer sandy soil, and full sun to light shade (with afternoon sun).
  • Avoid planting them in areas with standing water or soggy soil, as they need well-drained, rich soil to thrive.
  • Tulips have a wide range of bloom times. With careful attention to timing, you can enjoy an array of tulips blooming in your garden from early to late spring.


  • Provide well-drained soil, as the bulbs do not like prolonged wet feet over the winter, and constantly wet conditions leave them susceptible to rot and fungal disease.


  • While there are some varieties that are longer-lived perennials, most gardeners will find that their tulips need to be replanted each year.