It’s spring in Australia which means stunning tulip season. We love these brightly coloured blooms in the garden which keep coming back year after year, welcoming the new season and saying farewell to winter.
While tulips aren’t too difficult to grow, there are some tips to follow to ensure that you have gorgeous blooms every spring.
1. Tuplis should be planted in Autumn, in late April or early May in Australia (October/November in the Northern Hemisphere). Tulips like a cooler soil for planting, preferably under 14C (57F). A good tip is to plant them at the first frost of the season.
2. Purchase tulip bulbs about 6-8 week before you intend to plant them and keep them cool in the fridge crisper to help to ensure the longest tulip stems. Just make sure you keep them away from ripening fruit as it can affect the flowers. Ensure they are stored in the packaging they come in, not in airtight containers, as they need adequate air circulation.
3. Tulips are bulbs so they are planted under the soil. Plant deep enough where the soil is cool, about 2-3 times their length under the earth.
4. Depending on where you live you can leave the bulbs in the ground after they have flowered and browned off. In cooler areas this is fine provided they have some shade over the hot summer months but if you live in warmer climates it is best to lift the bulbs each year and store them in a cool, temperate, dark shady spot ready to be planted again the following Autumn. We love to plant our tulips in big pots so that we can wheel them around the garden to shaded spots over the hot summer months.
5. A sunny or partly shaded spot is best for tulips. Plant bulbs about 10-12cm apart and fertilise the soil before they are planted. Tulips like well drained soil and hate being water-logged, they don’t need a lot of water, particularly if the bulbs are planted in the ground.
So give growing tulips a try, you will be rewarded with a beautiful show of colour each spring!