Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Let's Grow Tulips | Selecting Tulip Cultivars | Tulip Divisions | Purchasing & Planting Tulips | Tulip Care

Tulip Care

Great tulip flowers are not always easy to find. We find Brecks to be a reliable source.

The best part of growing tulips is watching them dance in the first breaths of spring. The second best part of growing tulips is tulip care. The reason is because once established, a tulip bed needs very little care at all!

Tulip bulbs are an excellent nutrient storage system that need little care besides water.

When tulips finish flowering, either snip the stem or deadhead the bloom. However, let the leaves die naturally. This is the time the bulb absorbs the nutrients it needs for next year's growth. When the foliage becomes discolored, remove it to prevent "tulip fire", which can poison your soil. This is also a good time to lift any tulip bulbs that you want to remove from your garden.

Lifting bulbs isn't any more complex than digging them out of the ground or dumping them out of the pot. Usually each bloom produces one good-sized bulb and two smaller offshoots that can be discarded. Allow lifted bulbs to dry naturally. Then store them somewhere cool in an airy container (net produce bags and burlap bags work well) to provide good circulation until next planting time.

Cutting Tulips

Tulips are exceptionally easy-care flowers, both in the garden and in a vase.


Once your beautiful tulips are blooming in your garden, you are probably going to feel the need to cut some for an equally beautiful bouquet in your house. It is important to cut the flower with a sharp knife and on an angle. Only cut the length of stem you need for your vase. Leave as much of the stalk and as many leaves on the stalk as possible to permit the bulb to reenergize itself.

Once you bring tulips inside, a few tips will help your tulips stay beautiful. Choose a tight fitting vase so that the flowers don't droop or loll around the vase. Standing upright helps tulips stay fresh longer. Putting a penny in the water may also help your tulips stay erect.

Tulip Problems

When tulips produce foliage but no flowers, the most probable cause is damage caused by slugs or snails. Although liquid slug killers are available from most garden centers, most of them are toxic to the beneficial organisms, insects, and micro-colonies in your garden as well as to your pets and your family. The easiest way to deter slugs from invading your tulips is to create a barrier of lava rock or diatomaceous earth around your tulips. Both have sharp edges that kill invading pests by cutting into their skin and causing them to dry up. Another effective way to control slugs is with beer traps. Partially filled cans buried up to the lip will attract and drown slugs.

All in all, tulips present virtually no problems. Tulips are easy-care, easy to plant, and exceptionally lovely however you choose to grow or display them. Don't hesitate! Let's grow tulips!