View Full Version : How much sun do tulips need?
11-09-2001, 12:33 AM
When my cousin married he and his new wife gave tulip bulbs as party favors to the guests. Since a whole bunch of people didn't want them I ended up with a dozen of the damn things, and I'm trying to figure out where to plant them.
You'd think living on a farm I'd have TONS of space to plant them, but the yard itself is quite small, and between the buildings and the trees and the places I know snow-piles will go I'm having a hard time of it.
Two hours of sun? Four hours? Do they have to be in sun all day? Will having ten feet of snow piled on top of the bulbs hurt them?
I spent my growing-up years learning to grow corn and oats, not flowers.
11-09-2001, 01:09 AM
Bulbs have never really been my thing, but I believe tulips are partial to full sun, depending on the variety. Partial sun being about 4-6+ hours and full sun being 6-8+ hours (noon and afternoon sun being more important than morning sun. Something that grows fine in 4 hours of afternoon sun won't do as well in 4 hours of sun from 7-11am).
Snow shouldn't hurt them since they'll be dormant anyway. Only issue I can see is if the snow doesn't melt off fast enough to give them time to get going come spring. But if the ground below the snow remains frozen, the bulbs should remain dormant.
11-09-2001, 02:26 AM
chique, tulips are not very fussy (the exception being Parrot Tulips, and some doubled varieties). I have planted them underneath trees, crammed them into planting beds that have little sun, and juxtaposed them into daffodil beds.
You can plant tulips anywhere that the blooms will be admired. Remember that they are only remarkable while in bloom, and the foilage is rather ho-hum after that. Any bulb fertilizer will do. Don't give them a 'houseplant' fertilizer, as they tend to have too much nitrogen. Bonemeal works just fine for these babies.
Or you could 'force' the bulbs. Place the bulbs in the 'fridge for a couple of weeks, then plant them in a pot, and enjoy the blooms indoors (say, for the holidays). Just keep the planting medium evenly moist, and you should get good results.
11-09-2001, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by chique
Do they have to be in sun all day?
Seeing how they thrive in Holland, they can't be too fussy about sun. They might be used to lots of rain though.
11-09-2001, 06:59 AM
As others have said, they aren't really fussy about sun. Like many bulbs, you can plant them under trees because they will bloom before the leaves have filled in. Snow shouldn't be a problem, as they won't come up until it is melted. In fact, it provides a nice insulation if you have a constant snow cover.
One note...assuming these are hybrid tulips (which they probably are) they really only give you a good show the first year or so. Some people even treat them like annuals, planting them in the fall, enjoying them in the spring, and then digging them up so they can start all over with fresh bulbs.
11-09-2001, 03:51 PM
Tulips (or the ancestors of today's cultivated ones) are mostly native to arid mountainous regions of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia.
They are quite hardy and will tolerate very cold winters, but they will thrive best if they are 'sun baked' while dormant in the summertime.
The usual advice is to plant bulbs at three times their own depth, but tulips are better planted deeper still (they are more likely to repeat flower the next year this way).
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