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4 Tips For Growing Tulips In Warm Climates

With their vibrant colors and unique petals, tulips are the epitome of spring - gardeners and farmers eagerly wait for them to bloom each year. If you live in a warm climate, you may have assumed that growing tulips is an impossible feat, but it’s actually possible to plant tulips and enjoy their beauty even in warm temperatures! Follow our tips below and you'll have your very own tulip garden in no time.

TIP 1: PLANT PRE-CHILLED TULIP BULBS

Tulips are spring-flowering bulbs that need a prolonged period of cold temperature to grow and bloom properly. In most of the United States, this cold period is provided naturally by a winter spent planted outside in the ground. However, bulbs planted outdoors in warmer regions of the country in growing zones 11-7b including the Deep South, the desert Southwest, and most of California do not get the cold temperature they need because the outdoor ambient temperature and soil temperatures in the winter are warmer than what the tulip bulb requires for proper bud and flower development. Bulbs that don’t get sufficient cooling will have stunted growth, shorter stems and deformed flowers.

To help them thrive in warm climates, you can lend Mother Nature a helping hand by creating the ideal artificial cooling environment (34-45 degrees F) for the bulbs for 6 to 12 weeks before planting them outside. Here at Menagerie, we handle the pre-chilling process for you, so you don’t have to, utilizing our temperature and humidity controlled coolers to guarantee exceptional quality and viability of the bulbs for outdoor planting. Our head farmer and founder, Felicia, spent several years perfecting her pre-cooling method for outdoor tulip growing in a warm climate so that you don't have to!

Click here to view our pre-cooled tulip bulb seasonal availability! To learn more about pre-chilled tulip bulbs, check out our blog post What Are Pre-Cooled Tulip Bulbs.

TIP 2: PLANT YOUR BULBS IN THE FALL

Planting tulip bulbs in the fall will help them to root before the colder winter sets in. The natural cold weather of picks up where the pre-cooling left off, helping the bulbs to mature and grow.

In warmer growing zones, we recommend planting in late November or early December, 6-8 weeks before you expect a hard ground freeze, and no later than January 1st. If you pre-order pre-chilled bulbs from our farm, they'll arrive on your doorstep ready to plant at the perfect time for growers in Zones 7-11!

For a step-by-step guide for planting tulip bulbs, visit our blog post How to Plant Tulip BulbsFind our favorite tulip bulb planting supplies on our website and on Felicia’s Amazon Storefront!

TIP: 3 CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTING LOCATION

Tulips grow the best when they receive enough sunlight. It's best to plant them in a spot where they will be exposed to the sun's rays for at least six hours a day. However, make sure to keep them away from areas that receive intense heat, as it can lead to plant stress and growth issues. We know that can be a challenge in a warm climate region. Planting them under a shade tree or in a container or pot that can be moved to a covered shaded location can provide the necessary protection from the intense heat of springtime sun.

When selecting a location for your tulips, it is crucial to choose a spot with well-draining soil in order to prevent basal rot. To ensure optimal performance and growth in their new home, we highly recommend testing the soil before planting your tulip bulbs - click here to purchase our favorite soil testing kit. This simple step will help you create the perfect conditions for your tulips to thrive and showcase their vibrant beauty.

TIP 4: CARE FOR YOUR TULIP BULBS AFTER PLANTING

Tulips require proper moisture to grow well, so make sure to water them regularly. We recommend watering weekly or bi-weekly if you do not have rain. And that's it! Sit back, relax, and soon the most awaited season will arrive with your tulips blooming in all their glory!


Growing tulips in hot climates is undoubtedly a challenge, but it's not impossible. With a little bit of effort and care, you can grow beautiful tulips in your garden, and enjoy their magnificent blooms throughout the spring season. By following these easy steps you'll have a beautiful spring garden in full bloom!


Photos by: Jill Carmel Photography

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