Leave tulip planting until November to reduce the risk of tulip fire. They'll grow in both sunny and shade areas. Spread them randomly before planting, some close together and some less so, to make them look as natural as possible. Plant the bulbs at a depth of three times their height.
Caption: Plant tulip bulbs deeply
They also grow well in pots. Plant them deeply and protect the pots from squirrels, who like to eat the bulbs, by covering it with chicken wire.
Caption: Plant bedding on top of tulips to provide interest when they're not flowering
Picking the flowers
Tulips continue to grow once you’ve cut them, with the main growth plate just below the flower head. With the very heavy-headed parrots, whose heads tend to droop after a day or two in the vase, push a darning needle through the stem just below the head. This disrupts the growth plate and hence slows
cellular division and the droopy head syndrome.
Caption: Tulips make great cut flowers
As tulips go over, remove the old flowers and feed them blood, fish and bone, but leave the foliage to die back as long as you can. This helps with root and bulb formation.
Caption: Remove the faded flowers to direct the plant's energy into the bulb
Getting them to reflower
Tulips have a reputation of failing to flower in their second year. When Which? Gardening magazine trialled different methods, we found that planting deeply in the ground and not lifting the bulbs after flowering was the most reliable technique for getting them to flower again. This is because shallow planting exposes the bulbs to warmer temperatures which puts them into reproductive mode so they produce lots of small baby bulbs which don't flower well the following year. Pots are most vulnerable to this problem so try to alleviate it by planting the bulbs deeply and putting them deeply in the ground after flowering. Feeding bulbs after flowering with tomato food may also help.
Caption: Feed tulips after flowering with tomato food