Planting tulips: You can’t fail with these instructions!

The tulip is planted in the fall, and the flower splendor is obtained in the spring. Tulips thrive best outdoors, but they can also be planted in a pot. With these instructions you will succeed!

Tulips are bulbous flowers that are planted in autumn. Planting tulips is often one of the last chores to be done in the garden before winter. When the flowers in the garden have already bloomed and the leaves have fallen from the trees, the gardener’s mind is cheered up by the thought of spring’s floral glory.

Tulips bloom spectacularly and are also perfect as cut flowers. Amongst the abundant sea of ​​tulips, you should also plant other bulbous flowers as companions, which bloom at a slightly different time. Thus, you can enjoy the floral splendor for longer.

Read also: How to keep tulips beautiful for a long time? Pay attention to the selection of the bouquet already in the store

Tulip bulbs
Pay attention to the choice of onions. A large and healthy bulb produces the most beautiful flowers. © OM-Archive

Planting a tulip in open ground

Selection of onions

If you want a spectacular flower crop, be careful already at the onion stores. Choose the biggest bulbs, because they will make the most beautiful inflorescence. The cheapest flower bulbs are often small in size, which means that they bloom more uncertainly and poorly than larger ones.

Check that the bulbs look healthy on the surface. Choose hard ones and grab specimens with a clean and smooth surface. Softened and moldy bulbs may not produce flowers.

Keep the bulbs dry and cool until planting. If the package of onions in the warmer gets wet, the onions can start to sprout. It is not worth buying onions and waiting for a long time.

Place of growth and growth medium

Tulips thrive best outdoors in a sunny location. Peat or sandy soil is suitable for tulips, like bulb plants in general.

Clayey soil is problematic because the tulip shoot may not be able to push through the dense soil. The clay soil also warms up slowly in the spring, so the tulips start growing late.

Clay soil should be improved with sand or peat. The flowering of tulips can be hastened by making a raised bed about 10 cm high in the open ground, which warms up quickly in the spring sunshine.

Read also: Sannaliina started as a slow flowers farmer and now thousands of tulips grow in her backyard – this is what it’s all about

Planting time

Tulips are planted in autumn, as are crocuses, daffodils, pearl lilies and spring stars. Planting tulips in the spring does not work because tulips need a cold season to bloom first.

Tulip bulbs should be planted when the soil temperature is clearly below 10 degrees. This is usually at the end of September in Northern Finland and in October in Southern Finland. Tulips can be planted until frost.

If the bulbs are planted in too warm soil, they may begin to grow and die already in the fall, so they will not bloom in the spring.

Control pests

To the gardener’s chagrin, tulips are a treat for many animals. In spring, rabbits, hares, deer and pheasants enjoy the fresh shoots. These can be combated in the spring with protective nets and by planting daffodils among the tulips, whose smell repels animals.

Even before spring, tulip bulbs can go into a mole’s mouth. Tulips should be protected from moles already in autumn, when the tulips are planted. You can plant the bulbs inside a metal basket or you can put a dense protective net on the planting base of the pit. Rodent protection netting is sold in hardware stores.


  1. Dig its own hole for each bulb with a planting shovel or dig a flat hole in which you plant several bulbs. A suitable pit depth is about 20 cm.
  2. Put soil or compost at the bottom of the hole. If the soil is very clayey, improve it with peat or sand. It is good for the growing medium to be spongy so that the onion takes root.
  3. Place the bulbs at the bottom of the hole with the pointed end up and the roots down, three times deeper than the height of the bulbs. Check the planting interval on the package.
  4. Cover the bulbs with the soil you dug aside.

Watch the video on how to plant a tulip

Read also on Are tulip care tips a hoax or do they really work? We tested by holding one bouquet well and the other poorly – compare the pictures!

Planting a tulip in a pot

Tulips can also be planted in a pot, but the flower yield in a pot is a little more uncertain than in the open field. The bulbs are planted in a pot in exactly the same way as in open ground. The onion is planted three times deeper than the height of the onion.

You can’t leave the pot outside for the whole winter, because then the bulbs will freeze. The pot should be moved to a cold garage or basement for the winter, where it is not exposed to frost.

In the spring, you can move the pot outside when green shoots emerge from the soil. At that time, the planting can withstand up to 5-10 degrees of frost. If you put the pot in a too warm and dark place, the tulips will become droopy and dull in color.

Planting a tulip in a pot
Tulips also look beautiful in pots. © Nelson Garden

Timo Taulavuor, CEO of the Gardening Association, has been interviewed for the story.

Source: Puutarha – by

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