Tulips are one of the most popular flower types out there, and they are second only to roses in terms of how often you’ll see them in gardens all over the world.
While they’re generally associated with Holland as its national flower – and while Holland might be one of the world’s largest exporters of tulips – the flower initially originates from Turkey, where it can still be found in many gardens today.
People plant tulips for their incredible beauty, and there’s good reason why the trading of tulips is generally considered to be the first origins of what we know today as the stock market. Years ago, tulips were literally worth their weight in gold – and even today, they’re valued as one of the most gorgeous additions to any flower garden.
Here are 8 keys for taking good care of tulips and ensuring you have the best possible results when flowering time comes.
1. Type of Soil
One of the first and most important things for new gardeners to think about when planting tulips for the first time is the type of soil that you’re planting in.
When you’re planting tulips, you should know that they need the kind of soil which gets more than enough moisture – but the kind of soil that doesn’t trap moisture in. This is called soil with good drainage capability, and there are plenty of ways (including composting) to achieve this if you don’t have suitable soil to begin with.
Tulips prefer to grow (and in fact, will flourish) in sand-based soil: Mix a layer of sand in with regular soil before the composting process to create soil that’s nutrient-rich, cool enough for tulips to thrive and with enough moisture to let through enough water without becoming wet and causing issues like rot.
Remember to test the pH of the soil (with an easy home-testing strip) beforehand – neutral pH (up to six or seven) is best for tulips.