Tulip bulbs should be planted in late autumn when temperatures have cooled down, any time up to the end of November; they do not start rooting as early as other bulbs, and should be kept cool when first planted. Bulbs are best lifted to guarantee flowering the following year, bulbs that are left in the ground may only produce a 30-40 percent return the following year. Plant in well-drained, fertile soil in a sunny spot. For Tulips that are to be left in the ground after flowering, pull off old leaves and stems once they have withered and be sure not to leave any tulip petals rotting on the ground. Keep site relatively clear of other vegetation during the summer so that the bulbs receive the sun’s warmth to ripen them. Apply an annual dressing of either potash-rich fertiliser or sulphate of potash in late winter or early spring, before young shoots appear. After flowering the tulips can be dug up if the site or containers are otherwise needed, and the bulbs - complete with foliage - can be planted in an odd corner of the garden out of the way until the leaves turn yellow. Once the leaves have turned completely yellow, lift again and place in boxes in a dry shed or garage where they will be warm but not in direct sunlight. When dry, clean off the old stems, roots and soil and keep the bulbs for replanting in the autumn. Plant 8-10cm (3-4”) deep.
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