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Tulips should not be planted until the ground is cold preferably from end of October to early December. It is advisable to store the bulbs in a cool place with air circulation until ready for planting.
Plant tulips in fertile; well-drained soil in full sun as they dislike excessively wet conditions you can apply general fertiliser like blood, fish and bone at planting. Dwarf Tulips like Tulipa, Kaufmanniana and Greigii prefer gritty soils. When the Tulips are around 15-20cm high feed every couple of weeks with high potash fertiliser like Tomato fertiliser, until they start to flower then you can stop feeding.
Once they finish flowering dead head as soon as possible to prevent the seeds maturing, if the seeds are left it will affect the flower production for the following year. Darwin Hybrid, Tulipa, Kaufmanniana and Greigii varieties can be left in the ground for a few years. For other varieties once the leaves have died down after around eight weeks; lift and clean; remove the offsets allowing the bulbs to ripen in a shed or greenhouse, you can store them in sacks or old tights which will help to provide the air circulation they need, you can replant the larger bulbs the following autumn, smaller offsets can be planted in a nursery bed to mature.
Bulb rot may affect tulips planted in poorly drained soil. Aphids can carry virus from variety to variety. Plant tulips around 15 cm deep allowing around 50-60 per square meter
Tulip Queen of Night
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