How to Grow Tulip Bulbs
If you want to fill your garden with color next spring, plant bulbs from October to December; Tulip bulbs can actually be planted right up until Christmas and still flower perfectly well in the following spring because they only need a short season of growth.
1- Where to Plant Your Tulip Bulbs:
Tulips perform best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. Tulips dislike wetness and require well-drained soil.
2- How to Plant Your Tulip Bulbs:
When planting tulips, you should always place the pointed end up in the ground. It is also good to plant bulbs deeper than 10 inches under in warmer climates ; the deeper you plant a tulip, the tougher it will be. Tulips planted deeper have thicker stems and fall over less often. When planting tulips, it is nice to place them close to one another to avoid having them standing by themselves in the Spring. This is one flower that always looks better in groups. You can place bulbs as close as six inches away from each other in the ground. Tulips make also good container plants and they are delightful cut flowers.
Keep in mind that Tulips need a winter's frost in order to bloom in Spring, doing best in zones 3-8. Zones 9-11 will have to "force dormancy" by keeping bulbs in the refrigerator crisper (removing all fruits and vegetables) for up to 6 weeks prior to planting.
Tulip as perennial:
Strictly speaking, tulip bulbs cannot be guaranteed to flower for more than one season. Tulips hail from the rugged and windy mountains of Central Asia and need conditions that are not usually found in American gardens. However, to encourage your tulips to bloom for several years in a row, we recommend that you do the following:
• Plant your bulbs deep (8-10 inches). Deep planting helps to prevent the bulb from splitting up into many small, non-flowering bulbs.
• Fertilize the bulbs when the foliage pushes through the soil in spring. We recommend a general low-nitrogen organic fertilizer.
• Remove spent flowers as soon as the bulbs finish blooming. Snapping off the top of the flower stem encourages the plant to send energy into bulb growth rather than seed production.
• Allow the foliage to wither completely before you remove it.
• Avoid summer irrigation. Tulips prefer to be dry during their dormancy.
Almost all Darwin Hybrid Tulips have proven to be good perennial so they would be your best bet if you are looking for years of colorful blooms.