Tulips are elegant, bright colored, cup-shaped flowers with a smooth, green stem, and belong to the family of liliaceous plants. They are the first flowers that bloom during the spring, and have been cultivated for about 500 years. A number of hybrid varieties of tulips are available today, and they are classified into 15 classes on the basis of parentage, season of bloom, and various floral characteristics. There is a huge demand for tulips in the flower market throughout the globe.
Taking Care of Tulips
Planting: They should be planted in a sunny location, in mid to late October. A well-drained, airy, loamy soil is recommended for cultivation. Clayey or heavy soil needs the addition of sand in order to increase the water drainage, since they can't tolerate standing water. Dig individual holes or trenches 6-8 inches deep, and place the tulip bulbs in the ground with pointed side upwards.
After planting, water them until the soil is completely moist in order to enhance root formation. Cover the beds with an inch of mulch of bean straw, which protects the soil and makes it hold water.
Watering: The tulip beds require watering after planting in the fall or during early spring, as well as before blooming and after blooming. Additional watering is required in long dry periods during winter. When the tulips bloom, keep the beds watered to prevent the surface soil from cracking.
Protection: You need to protect them from little critters. Spray the tulips with an animal repellent spray in order to protect them from small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, or gophers. Otherwise, you can build some kind of barrier around the garden. Voles or squirrels can damage the plants by digging and eating the bulbs.
You can sprinkle a blood meal on the top of the soil around the tulip bulbs. Or, you can install a chicken wire over the top of the garden in order to protect the small shoots of tulips. Don't allow the fallen petals stay in the bed. Keep the garden clean in order to prevent blight.
Care of Potted Tulips
Indoor tulips should be planted during September and October. The pot should have a drainage hole and a saucer to collect the excess water.
Keep potted tulips in bright, indirect light, and away from any kind of heat sources such as stereos, heating vents, etc. Never place the potted tulips on the top of a television. Keep the pot moist but not wet. Alternate watering is recommended. Place the pot in a cool room in order to slow down the flowering period.
Care of Cut Tulips
You can place the cut tulips in your drawing hall or bedroom, to create a refreshing environment. However, you need to take great care of them, to prevent them from drying.
Remove any foliage, leaves from part of the stem that would be under water in the pot. Cut off the white portion of the stem, this helps for better water intake. You need to change the water frequently as clean and fresh water is essential for a long-lasting cut tulip.
Re-cut the stems every 4-5 days, which would promote the intake of water. You should keep the cut tulips in a cool place so that the blooms last longer.