Tulips in Tennessee (TNT) = Dynamite Spring Color!



October 1st thru December 15th is the optimum time to plant fall bulbs.  The bloom time might be brief, but what an impact tulips make when they emerge in the Spring!  Tulips are favorites for beginner gardeners and master gardeners alike.  Because they are so easy to plant, many gardeners like to use their time planning the design.


Ever thought about what “message” you’d like to communicate through your tulip design?  Did you know that each color actually has a meaning?  Orange tulips symbolize fascination, energy, enthusiasm and desire. Purple – Royalty and nobility and sometimes a type of rebirth. Pink – Happiness!  (of course)

Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love and the meaning of yellow tulips has evolved somewhat. Yellow tulips once represented hopeless love – now is a common expression for cheerful thoughts and sunshine.

It’s also helpful to note that red and yellow actually attract the eye more easily than other colors.  That is why so many designers use those colors for HOAs at the entrance ways.

tulips-pic-3        HOW TO BUY AND TIPS FOR PLANTING

  •  When buying bulbs in bulk, make sure the bulbs are firm, not moldy or squishy.  
  • Buy the largest bulbs you can find.  Tulip bulbs are susceptible to rot.  It’s important to use organic soil amendments for best results.  (we use Holy Cow from Southern Nurseries)
  • To make colors “pop”, plant your tulips against an evergreen backdrop.
  • For the greatest impact, plant tulips in masses, not small clusters.


  • To save your back, you do not need a bulb planter.  Prepare you bedding by loosening your soil and mixing it with your organic mix.  Spread the bulbs in the bedding tip side up .  It they start to roll over, it’s okay.  They will find their way to light.  Cover the bulbs with 2 to 3 inches of top soil.
  • Don’t mulch over your bulb planting bed because the layer of insulation holds extra moisture.  This could definitely cause your bulbs to rot.
  • Apply wood chips to the top of the bulb bed.
A little planning and sowing this fall means great joy this spring!  Happy planting!