Beginner/Intermediate Gardeners: 3 Best Tips for Growing & Planting Tulip Bulbs

As a beginner to intermediate gardener, you know that if you want a beautiful tulip show in the spring you need to plant the bulbs in the fall. As a home gardener with a few years of gardening experience under my belt, who is taking a social media class from Northwestern University through, I found two articles that give advice on how to grow & plant tulip bulbs.

Gardening Know How posted a tulip growing article by Heather Rhoades titled, Growing Tulips – Care and Tulip Planting Tips. The article gives a lot of tulip growing advice, including the importance of planting the bulbs at the right time (mid-autumn). It goes on to say that the best place to store tulip bulbs prior to planting is in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer since they need a cool location. She advises planting tulip bulbs in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Prepping the soil before planting with compost or dried manure and fertilizer is also recommended.

Infographic is my own, made on

Garden Design also posted an article about growing and planting tulips titled, Tulip Guide: Planting, Care & Frequently Asked Questions by Tovah Martin. This article states that the best time to plant tulip bulbs is September to January depending on which plant zone you reside in. It recommends planting the bulbs pointy side up 6 – 8 inches deep & 4 – 6 inches apart. She advises pairing complimentary colored tulips that bloom at the same time for full colorful displays or planting tulip bulbs with different bloom periods together in order to extend your bloom season. The article goes on to say that while tulips are perennials, they often aren’t reliable so many gardeners buy fresh bulbs every year to ensure their tulips will bloom in the spring.

Drawing on these two articles and my own experiences growing & planting tulips, I have listed three action items that you should take if you want a beautiful display of tulips in your garden this coming spring:

  • Keep Bulbs Cool – Store your bulbs in a cool place until the temperatures are mild enough to plant.
  • Prep Soil – Mix in compost/dried manure and fertilizer with your soil to give your bulbs the best headstart before winter.
  • Plant Deep – Plant your bulbs 6 – 8 inches deep to protect them from cold winters.

Starting today, keep your tulip bulbs in a cool place before planting, prep your soil before planting to give them a good headstart & plant your bulbs 6 – 8 inches in the ground & your garden will be in full tulip bloom glory this spring.

Like this article? Check out my tulip planting tutorial using an auger.

Hello, my name is Megan and I am an avid home gardener who loves to try out new plants as well as stay true to my tried and tested favorites. I created this blog to give gardening advice and provide inspiration to beginner to intermediate gardeners. I am taking a social media course from Northwestern University on Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.

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