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Growing Tulips

Tulip Holland BeautyPlanting Time:  Late April, Early May. In most areas of Australia which do not experience a frost Tulips must be pre-chilled in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Preferably in paper bags in the vegetable crisper, however bear in mind that most vegetables emit ethylene gas which affects the growing performance of tulip bulbs.

Flowering Season: Spring. Tulips will flower at various times according to the type being grown.

  • Early Flowering: Single Early, Double Early, Species.
  • Mid-season: Darwin Hybrids, Triumphs, Parrot.
  • Late season: Single Late, Double Late, Lily-Flowering, Fringed.

Climatic suitability: Tulips do best in cooler temperate regions. Usually colder then what is available in Australia (except in parts of Tasmania and NSW’s southern highlands). To simulate a cold region Tulips must be pre-chilled. By doing this Tulips can easily be grown in most regions but they must lifted after flowering. In warmer areas cover the bed with mulch to protect against warmth.

Sun requirements: Sunny in cooler areas, Part-shaded in warmer areas.

Planting depth: 10 to 15 centimetres

pH level: 6.0 - 7.0

Plant Spacing: 10 to 15 centimetres

Bed selection: Well drained, refer to sun requirements.

Fertilising: A complete fertiliser, manure or blood and bone should be worked into the soil a month before planting. Top dress after flowering.

Watering: Tulips like to be in moist soil, but not wet. Ensure good drainage. Water in when planting, and in dry condition water twice a week.

Growing in containers: Like other bulbs tulips can be grown in containers. Make sure the container has drainage holes and that the container is deep enough to plant at the right depth.

Growing indoors: Tulips can be grown year-round indoors.

  • Pick a container that you can plant tulips at the required depth. Use a complete bulb potting mix and water in, let the excess water drain out. Make sure the container has holes at the bottom to prevent the bulbs from rotting.
  • Refrigerate for 8 to 12 weeks. Cover the containers to keep the bulbs moist.
  • Slowly introduce the containers to a light and warm area. Bear in mind that too much warmth can cause the flower wilt.
  • After sprouts appear, lightly water.

After flowering:

  • Allow the foliage to turn yellow, however after this has occurred lift the bulbs as allowing the foliage to die down into the soil will poison the bulbs.

Lifting & Storage:

  • Lift the bulbs and allow them to dry naturally
  • Store them in a cool and airy position for replanting next autumn.

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