Cultivating Winter Tulips

From January to April, tulips are one of the season's best buys, indoors and out.
Related To:
Cultivating Winter Tulips

Cultivating Winter Tulips

Tulips with this striped pattern are often called "Rembrandt" tulips in honor of the famous Dutch painter. (Photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer)

Tulips with this striped pattern are often called "Rembrandt" tulips in honor of the famous Dutch painter. (Photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer)

Invest smart. Buying a tulip bulb at the right time is crucial, says Frans Roozen, Technical Director of the International Flower Bulb Center in Hillegom, Holland. Select bulbs, he says, with shoots already "up" and buds fully formed (but not yet flowering) to enjoy the longest bloom time.

Color mania. Select colors that make your heart sing. Then try something new! Tulips come in bright yellows, whites, purples and all shades of red. They can be tulip shaped or not; ruffled on the edges or pointed. Flamed and multicolored tulips look great mixed with solid colors in coordinated shades.

Repot, replant. Potted tulips are usually sold in plastic nursery pots so feel free to repot. Choose a new pot with a drainage hole and saucer to collect the draining water. Then gently remove the plant and soil from its nursery pot and repot.

Double pots. If you prefer to "double pot," set the existing potted plant "as is" inside a slightly larger, more decorative pot, or "cachepot." If the nursery pot has a hole for drainage, the cachepot won't need one.

Thirst quenchers. Water as needed, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.

Water with care. Use only tepid rainwater or distilled water to avoid chemical buildup that can shock and damage plants.

Toughening up. If outdoor temperatures are still near freezing in your area, it's good to acclimate the potted bulbs by placing them for a few days in an unheated but protected spot; this will toughen them up before being planted outdoors. Once planted, acclimated forced bulbs can survive even sudden snowstorms.

Warming tricks. If you choose to plant outdoors, note that larger containers help insulate the bulbs from freezing.

Color plays. For visual pizzazz, group pots of one flower color together, or experiment with contrasting colors.

Surprise someone! When visiting friends or family this winter, bring along a pot of tulip bulbs (or amaryllises and paperwhites) and a trowel. Scope out in advance a needy plot of earth near the front door and then tuck the colorful little fellows in. Leave a note with instructions to "water well." It's a gift that will keep on growing!

Courtesy of Right@Home™

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Right Time for Tulips

Want beautiful flowers in the spring? Plant bulbs in the fall! HGTV Magazine is telling the truth about tulips.

Mix It Up With a Luxurious Winter Display

Cymbidium orchids and bells of Ireland update a traditional all-around mixed display of classic red roses and and silvery green foliage. This very full arrangement is perfect for a circular table in the center of a large room.

Tips to Perk Up a Bleak Winter Garden

Recommendations for adding cold-weather appeal to the garden.

Plant a Bed of Spring Bulbs

Harbingers of spring, bulbs transform sleeping gardens into oceans of color as the seasons turn.

How to Force Bulbs Indoors

Plantings of paperwhites can provide continuous indoor blooms.

Unconventional Flowers for Fall

When you're looking for unusual fall flowers, think spring for autumn color.

Retro Recipes for Summer Tomatoes

Follow these vintage recipes for ideas on what to do with your summer tomatoes.

Growing Satisfying Summer Flowers

The budget gardener's trick to growing satisfying summer flowers is to do it from seed.

Plant a Winter Garden

Add pops of color to your winter landscape with plants and shrubs that add interest and will attract and support wildlife.

Winter Family Fun

Great things to do when the weather keeps you indoors.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Income Property

6:30am | 5:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Good Bones

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Good Bones

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.