Tulips – Planting Method

Q: I received potted tulips for Valentines Day. Can I plant them in the ground now?

A: You’re welcome to put them in the ground but it’s not likely they will reward you with large blooms in years to come. Summer soil heat and moisture will cause the original bulb to split into smaller ones, which may or may not have the energy to send up a flower stalk next spring. Dutch tulip growers go to exacting lengths to keep their bulbs from splitting. In Asia, where tulips are native, summer heat and dry soil prevent division. For more success having reliable rebloom, try other tulip species like Tulipa clusiana, Tulipa tarda, and Tulipa kaufmanniana. The best planting spot is in bright shade with fast-draining, sandy soil.