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When to Plant Tulips – Is It Possible in Spring?

Is it possible to plant tulips in the spring? The short answer is “yes!”

Technically speaking, those tulips you brought home from the nursery really should’ve been planted in the fall, not in the spring like the rest of your flowers.

But fear not! If you’re ready to plant some tulip bulbs, you have options. Continue reading to discover all things “tulips” and how to get them to beautifully bloom this year.

All About Bulbs

Normally, tulip bulbs require more than 10 weeks of cold weather to prepare for the following spring. This time allows the bulbs to store more nutrients and grow deep roots by springtime. The soil should be cool and not frozen, which is why fall is the perfect season to plant.

Other bulbs to plant in the fall include daffodils, crocus, snowdrops and irises. View this helpful growing chart specifically created for bulbs from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

What Now?

So, you’ve missed the ideal planting period. All hope is not lost! You have some options.

If you plant your tulip bulbs now, you’ll get more of a foliage plant this year. That is, you’ll see beautiful leaves this year, but likely no flowers until next year. However, if you’re itching to see beautiful blooms as soon as possible, follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Plant the bulb pointy side up in a small plastic pot with potting soil.
  2. Seal the whole pot in a plastic bag.
  3. Put the pot in the refrigerator and keep the soil moist until the tulip has sprouted.
  4. Move the pot out of the bag and into a sunny place inside, watering frequently.
  5. When the soil outside is warm enough (about 65 degrees Fahrenheit), plant the sprouted tulip in the ground. Ensure the area is “full sun,” unless you live in a very hot climate.

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