i received some tulips for easter! when is the best time to plant the bulbs so they come up every year??
When to Plant Bulbs
Everyone loves tulips but getting them to rebloom depends on where you live and what type of tulip you have. Zone 2 and colder is just too darn cold. Zone 9 and up is not cold enough. Tulips need 12 weeks of cool soil to trigger rebloom - roughly 40 degree soil. The fancier the petals (frills and colors), the less likely they will rebloom. All that hybridization leads to a less-hardy bulb. Or the leaves may emerge but no bloom after 2-3 years. On the other hand, if you have an older species tulip or one of the Darwin, Emperor or Triumph cultivars, you are in luck! You can plant them out after getting them used to outdoor conditions over a week by slowly increasing amount of direct sun and decreasing water. Where soils aren't naturally high in phosphorus, bone meal is often added to the soil just under the bulb. Bulbs are planted 6-8 inches deep or roughly double the height of the bulb. Always let the leaves die back naturally; don't tie them up or cut them back. They look unsightly while rebuilding the bulb so plant them where a taller plant will hide them. Avoid putting bulbs where the soil is wet in summer or winter. Frozen is OK but wet leads to rot. If your container has bulbs close to the surface, which many do from the florist, let the leaves die back in the container and then transfer the bulbs to the soil. Feed lightly while in the container. Happy Easter.