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How to: grow tulips

Photo - Linda Ross

Drawing for tulips


Find some time this summer holiday to create a wonderful picture of tulips. 

Skye, Eden and Isla tell how it’s done.


What you need

a large pot

some tulip bulbs

potting mix or bulb mix

controlled release fertiliser


watering can


What to do

Place your tulip bulbs in the vegetable crisper of your fridge for six weeks before planting in late April and May. This will give better results, especially if you live where it’s not very cold.

Place a large pot (40-60cm) for the tulips in a sunny location.

Fill a quarter of the pot with a premium potting mix or bulb mix.

Place bulbs in the hole with pointed end up and blunt end down. Look on the back of the bulb packet for the ideal planting depth for the tulip bulbs. This is usually 20cm from the top of the pot.


Photo - Linda Ross

Space the bulbs 7-10cm apart.

Add some controlled release fertiliser or bulb fertiliser.

Cover the bulbs over with 15cm of potting mix to within 5cm of the top of the pot.

If you want to you can add some colourful annuals such as pansies, primrose or polyanthus.


Adding annuals. Photo - Linda Ross

Put in a plant label so that you know what types of tulips you have planted and water them in with a watering can.

Water again when the leaves start to pop out of the soil. Water regularly and liquid feed your tulips with a fertiliser high in potassium every two weeks to help them grow and flower. Continue feeding after flowering to build up the bulbs’ reserves for flowering next year.


Text: Isla Barlow


About this article

Author: Isla Barlow