Tulips in Tennessee

It’s my favorite time of year here in middle TN. The Bradford Pears have bloomed and greened.  Spring calves are on the ground and running. A multitude of Tulips dot the landscape with candy colors.

Growing up on a cattle farm near Holland, MI. the tulip capitol of the Midwest, all of us kids eagerly watched for them as we knew they were proof that spring was here to stay (non of us boys would ever admit to getting excited over flowers though) Tulip bulbs in the northern states will come back year after year making for a nice instant landscape. Not so easy in the south.

Tulip bulbs need a long, cold dormant period to reproduce well. Something we don’t get in Tennessee. Also, it’s the reason I live in Tennessee. So no complaints here!

I’ve put together a list to help you get the most out of your Tulips. Hopefully you will even get 2 seasons out of them. But, no promises.

  • First, find a well draining area with nearly full sun.
  • plant your bulbs 4-5 inches deep.
  • keep them 3-4 inches apart
  • If you fertilize, just sprinkle as soon as you see green shoots.

I have been semi-successful at getting a second year out of my Tulips. But not very often. When I dig up the old bulbs they are usually rotten from our poor draining clay soil & warm winters.

In my opinion, the spring colors are worth the work. So keep diggin’ em!


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