There are over 100 species and over 3500 cultivars of Tulips. There are traditional tulips, fancy tulips, solid colored, striped, variegated, short, tall, early bloom, late bloom ... well, the list goes on. Tulips are a versatile flower and a wonderful starting point for the novice gardener. Tulips flourish with minimal care. They prefer loamy, well-draining soil with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. To grow and store Tulips, follow these steps.
Things You Will Need
mesh bag or old stockings
Locate an appropriate site for your Tulips. A sunny location is ideal. Tulips flower before the trees are full of leaves so planting close to trees is not an issue as long as you plant outside of the tree's drip line.
Tulips are more forgiving of soil requirements than other spring bulbs. However, they do prefer sandy, slightly alkaline soil with good drainage. If there is clay in the soil, work in organic material before planting.
Plant six weeks before the first frost is expected. Plant Tulip bulbs to a depth of two times the bulb height. The pointy side of the Tulip bulb should be facing upward and the bulbs should be six to eight inches apart.
Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer or your own organic fertilizer when the Tulip shoots break through the ground in spring. Do not fertilize after Tulips have flowered.
When Tulips are done flowering, cut the flower stem but do not cut the foliage back. Let the plant die naturally. It is during this time that the bulb stores nutrients and energy for next year's flowering. Once foliage has died dig up the bulbs.
Wash the Tulip bulbs, allow to dry and place in a mesh bag or a pair of old stockings. Store bulbs in a cool area with good air circulation. Heat will dry the bulbs out and kill them. Store Tulip bulbs until time to plant in the fall.
Tips & Warnings
The bigger the bulb, the bigger the bloom. Keep this in mind when shopping for your Tulips.