How to Maintain Tulips
Even if you’ve never grown tulips, the colorful flowers are among the easiest to cultivate and maintain, particularly in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 8. Once you plant tulips, you can leave them alone and they’ll return year after year. However, with a little bit of maintenance, they’ll thrive and bloom large, plentiful and colorful trumpet-shaped flowers every spring.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- 10-10-10 fertilizer
- Hand clippers or scissors
- Fertilize tulips in the spring with 1 to 2 lbs. of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of planting space. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the ground around your plants. Avoid getting any on the foliage, since fertilizer can burn the leaves.
- Snip off flower stalks with a pair of hand clippers or scissors after they’re finished blooming. Do not cut off the foliage yet.
- Remove the foliage in the fall when it turns yellow. Waiting until the fall gives tulips the time to photosynthesize sunlight into energy to store in the bulbs for the next season’s growth.
- Divide overcrowded tulips. Tulip blooms may thin out every three to five years. If this happens, it’s time to divide. In the fall after the foliage dies back, dig up the bulbs and separate the little bulbs from the main bulbs, then replant.