Tulips Care and Maintenance Tips for the most beautiful spring colors. Learn about storing, potting and forcing tulips and how to deal with pests and diseases.
Tulips are easy to care for and require little maintenance. Toward the end of the spring, when in full-bloom, and during the summer the best care is not to water and to only prune dying/dead blooms.
At the end of the season, you can deadhead the plants. However, it is most recommended that you either let leaves die off naturally or only remove them when completely yellow.
Storing Tulip Bulbs
Two alternatives to storing tulip bulbs are to leave them in the ground or dig them up after the leaves yellow. Tulips are perennial plants and the first option allows nature revive the bulbs on her own. The second option involves keeping the bulbs dry and cool until late autumn, replanting in the same process as explained above.
Tulips are highly durable, but you need to be wary of a few pests and diseases that can harm your plants. Squirrels are attracted to Tulip bulbs, but can be deterred by placing black netting over the top of the bulbs or sprinkling Cayenne pepper or chilli flakes/powder around the garden. Aphids can also be troublesome, but can be easily washed away with water.
Tulips are mostly disease free, but can be affected by tulip fire. This disease is easily identifiable with the presence of odd, distorted foliage. It usually appears before the plant has bloomed, but is just as serious if you notice 'flecks and burns' anywhere on the flowered plant. The only solution is to dig out from the roots and destroy the bulb.
Photo: Ruth Flickr
Potted Tulips can brighten up your containers in the spring. Get some good quality tulip bulbs and plant them into your containers with regular potting compost. Little tulips are great for growing tulips in pots. They are less likely to fall over. You can mix them with daffodils or crocus as well.
If you want to enjoy a bit of early spring color indoors try forcing tulip bulbs. Bring the pots into the house in early January. Within a few weeks you should have a beautiful display.
These bulbs are resilient in general and little care is needed to achieve beautiful blooming flowers.