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Tulips come in countless varieties and colors. Planted in the garden bed, they delight us in spring with their magnificent flowers. The easy-care flowers sprout again year after year and set colorful accents in the garden. But sometimes there are no flowers and you only see green leaves. What can be the reason? It is difficult to make an exact diagnosis, but there are some clues to finding the cause.



Soil, location and planting depth

Tulips are undemanding plants in and of themselves. Nevertheless, they also prefer certain soils and locations. Planting depth and planting distance are also important for the spring bloomers to thrive.


ground and time

For tulips to sprout and flower next spring, hardy tulip bulbs should be planted in autumn before the first frost. The ideal time has come when the ground has already cooled slightly. This is the case at temperatures below ten degrees Celsius. As far as the soil is concerned, the spring bloomers are rather undemanding. But the right soil helps the tulips bloom.

  • put the tulip bulbs in a well-drained soil
  • if necessary, mix the soil with sand
  • Note the pH value between six and seven
  • loamy and standing wet soils are not optimal for tulips

Tip: In some cases, the soil becomes “tulip tired” after a few years. Then place other plants in the tulip location for about three years. After that, the tulips should work again.

planting depth

planting depth and spacing

When planting the tulip bulbs, you should pay attention to the planting distance and the planting depth. The bulb must also be planted in the right direction.

Ideal is:

  • a planting distance of 15 centimeters
  • a planting depth of 15 to 20 centimeters (normal garden soil)
  • a planting depth of up to 30 centimeters in sandy soil
  • maximum planting depth: twice the height of the bulb

The bulb has been properly planted when its tip faces the sky. After the bulbs have been placed in the planting hole, press down firmly on the soil and water the soil generously.

Tip: With a layer of compost, you give the tulips enough nutrients for the coming spring as early as autumn. In addition, the compost layer is a great protection against deep ground frost.


Tulips like a sunny spot. This not only promotes flowering, but also provides ideal conditions for the bulbs to ripen. The latter is particularly important for the tulips in bloom the following year.

nutrient supply

Tulips only flower when the bulbs have sufficient nutrients and energy. Therefore, the tulip bulbs should also be supplied with additional nutrients.

To make it easier for the tulips to bloom, you should:

  • be mulched with compost in the fall
  • from the end of February or beginning of March, mature compost can be worked in regularly at intervals of two weeks - don't forget to water it!

When the tulips have finished flowering, the plants still need nutrients. The end of the fertilizer season has come when the fallen leaves are cut off.

To cut

Like other flowering plants, tulips form seeds for propagation. Since the development of the seeds demands a lot of strength and energy from the plants, it is often at the expense of flowering. Withered flowers should be cut off so that the plant uses its energy "correctly" from the point of view of the hobby gardener. This is how the tulips create “energy reserves” for the coming year.

The tulip leaves, on the other hand, are only cut when they are completely dead. Green leaves provide the onion with nutrients. That's why you should leave the green leaves on even if the tulips aren't in bloom. In this way, the onion can already provide itself with sufficient nutrients for the coming year.

Tip: You can recognize dead tulip leaves by their completely yellow color.


voles and wetness

The best soil and location is useless if pests are tampering with the tulips. Voles are a particular danger, because they don't stop at tulip bulbs. A protection against the plague are so-called vole baskets with close-meshed wire mesh. They are available from specialist retailers.

A wet autumn or winter can also be responsible for the failure of the tulips to bloom. If too much rain cannot drain away, mold or rot can weaken the bulb and it will stop blooming.

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