The Q&A Archives: Tulips

Question: How do you take care and multiply the tulip bulbs?

Answer: Tulips are most easily multiplied by the "offsets" that the bulbs produce. When lifting (digging up) bulbs, you will notice the large "mother" bulb has smaller bulbs clinging to it. These are offsets, and are produced freely by the mother bulb. Offsets are planted 3" deep during November, an ideal spot is a sunny site with light yet rich soil. Tulips from offsets will be clones of the parent plant. There is one drawback, you shouldn't expect flowers from tulips produced from offsets until the plant is 3-4 years old. Caring for tulips is quite easy, in general, they simply need a spot (as mentioned above) with rich soil, and good drainage. They do appreciate an application of fertilizer such as "Bulb Booster" in the spring, and again in the fall. Any type of superphosphate could be used in place of this.

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