Tulips: flowering time & plant care


I studied agricultural sciences with full conviction - an obvious choice for me, as I grew up on my parents’ farm and learned early on to find joy in taking care of plants and animals.

Favourite fruit: grapes, mangos and bananas.
Favourite vegetables: brussels sprouts, spinach and potatoes

Tulips are available as cut flowers almost all year around. But when is the flowering time of the tulip in the garden? And how do you care for the tulip when growing?

different shades of pink tulips
To ensure a long and lush flowering, invest some time in your tulips’ care [Photo: Andreas Krumwiede/ Shutterstock.com]

Tulip (Tulipa) is a very frugal ornamental plant. It gets by with little attention and thrives in poorer soils. However if you are hoping for a long and lush bloom, you should invest some time in tulip care. We tell you the most important tricks in a nutshell.

Tulip flowering time

In spring, the tulip lifts our hearts with its colourful flowers and heralds the arrival of spring. But when should you plant tulip bulbs to lay the foundation for the multicoloured tulip spectacle?

dark purple tulips
Dark purple tulips are rather impressive [Photo: halilin/ Shutterstock.com]

The bulb is usually planted in the autumn (September to November). It can overwinter in the ground without any difficulty. Moderate frost even helps to ensure the health of the bulbs, as it kills soil pests and germs. Pre-grown bulbs can also be planted in the spring. Depending on the time of planting, flowering can then vary between late March and early May.

Tip: To oversummer, tulip bulbs must be dug up. We have summarised all the information on tulip bulb storage for you in our special article.

tulip bulbs ready for planting
Tulips may flower between late March and early May. [Photo: barmalini/ Shutterstock.com]

Tulip care

The tulip is very frugal. It does not require much to get a beautiful flower. However, if you want to enjoy a large and vigorous flower for longer, there are a few points you should bear in mind when caring for your tulips.

Caring for tulips before flowering

The tulip also thrives on lean sites. However, if you mix in some compost when planting the bulbs and regularly add organic fertiliser before flowering, your tulips will show their appreciation. Plant-based fertilisers are very suitable, as they promote soil life, also provide nutrients in the long term and are mostly harmless as far as the impact on the environment is concerned. In order for the nutrients to be utilised efficiently, you should also water regularly. Our Plantura Flower Food is one such fertiliser and contains all the nutrients for a rich tulip bloom.

Learn how to fertilise your tulips correctly in this article.

Flower Food, 1.5kg
Flower Food, 1.5kg
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Properly caring for tulips during flowering

Once the tulip blooms, it has passed the most critical stage of growth. During flowering, make sure that there is always enough water so that the stems, leaves and flower are sufficiently supplied and therefore remain succulent. If the water supply drops, the thirsty tulip can quickly wither. Attention: Do not go overboard with your plants! Waterlogging every bit as harmful as dryness.

recently watered pink tulip flowers
Make sure your tulips have enough water while blooming [Photo: Tibesty/ Shutterstock.com]

Tulips after flowering: to prune or not to prune?

You should not cut your tulips immediately after flowering. If the petals are withered, you can gently remove them from the rest of the plant. The green parts of the plant, such as leaves and stems, are best left for a few more days to weeks. Via photosynthesis, the tulip can therefore gain energy for the formation of daughter bulbs. The longer you give the tulip, the more abundant will be the bulb yield and, consequently, the splendour of flowers next year.

withered tulip flowers
After the flowers have withered, deadhead the tulips [Photo: Lana Leon/ Shutterstock.com]

Tip: If the first signs of wilting are visible on the green parts of the plant, then these should also be removed with a sharp knife.

In spring, everyone delighted in the colourful tulips – but what about the toxicity of the colourful flowers? In our article “Are tulips poisonous?” you will find an answer.