Can You Plant Store-Bought Tulips?

Yes, you can plant store-bought tulips but it shouldn’t be done outdoors. Make sure to plant store-bought tulips indoors for the best growth and flowering. They will not grow well if planted outdoors because tulips are not cold-hardy plants.

Tulips are a favorite among many gardeners because they are one of the early spring growers.

If you have bought or received species tulips in pots, you’re in luck for replanting. This is because species tulips have more range so they can naturalize, which allows them to rebloom every spring, and they could even multiply.

If you just received store-bought tulips, keep reading to find out how you can plant them in your garden.

How To Tell If You Bought Species Tulips:

When it comes to store-bought flowers, there are hybrids and species. While hybrid flowers add a beautiful touch of spring color to your space, they aren’t successful at returning the following year.

If you’re after tulips that can be treated as perennials, you will need to make sure they are species. The difference is that species are a variety that grows naturally.

However, when you are buying potted tulips they may not be labeled as “species” and “hybrid”. You will have to look for physical clues to tell if the flower is a species. The first thing you should examine is the height.

Hybrid tulips tend to be taller than species, which could range from 3 to 9 inches tall depending on which species of tulip they are.

Species tulips will have broader foliage, but their bloom is the ultimate clue on whether they are species or not. When species tulips bloom, their cup is flatter and the tips of the petal are more pointed.

How Do You Plant Potted Tulips?

If you want to plant tulips outside in your garden, then you will need to wait until the flower has finished its blooming cycle.

Some tulips may have difficulties because forcing them to grow in pots causes them to use too much energy. However, if you are careful you can transplant the used bulb outdoors.

If you do not see a bloom the following spring, this is completely normal. One thing you should keep in mind is that it may take up to 2 years for the transplanted bulb to begin growing flowers again.

Give It Sun

When your tulip has finished its blooming cycle, move the pot to a sunny area. The tulip will try to form seeds, so it’s important that you cut off any remaining petals. Make sure the stems and leaves of the tulip are still intact.

Water and Compost

To keep the tulip plant healthy before it’s ready to be transplanted outside, you will need to water it once or twice a week. Check to see when the soil is dry, and then give the planted tulip more water.

You should also give the tulip a houseplant fertilizer every other week. However, once the foliage begins to turn yellow, cut back on the amount of water and fertilizer.

Pick The Right Spot

Once you pick a spot outdoors where you would like to place the tulip on the ground outside, you will need to prepare the garden bed.

Make sure the ground you chose has well-draining soil. Before planting the tulip bulbs in there, you will need to mix in at least 2 inches of a compost layer along the surface of your soil to get it ready.

Next, you will need to cut off the dead foliage before removing the tulip bulbs from the pot.

When you transplant the bulbs, make sure the pointy side is facing upwards. You will need to gently plant the bulbs in a hole 2 inches below the soil surface.

If you are planting a small variety, space the tulip bulbs 3 inches apart. For a larger flower, the bulbs should be 5 inches apart.

What to Do with Potted Tulip Bulbs After Flowering?

Always check which type of tulip you want to plant because a tulip can only successfully grow in certain zones.

If you don’t plan on using them for gardening right away and would like to wait until fall to plant your bulb, it is best to place your tulip in a cool area away from the light (like a garage) over the summer.

Many gardening experts have had success storing them in a paper bag. These bulbs can be planted after the last frost in spring or 6 weeks before the first frost in the fall.

It’s important not to plant tulips too early in case the winter weather comes back and the conditions are too cold. After winter, these bulbs need a period of dryness before they can bloom.


When bulbs are forced to grow in pots, they make a beautiful display piece but they often lack the energy to grow again, which is why many people are interested in planting these bulbs outside.

When bulbs are planting in their ideal growing condition, they will be less likely to die. 

If you want to see your plant’s bloom return year after year, it is best to plant bulbs in soil when the temperatures and weather conditions are right for growing. Early summer or fall are the ideal times for planting the bulb.

roses vs tulips

Roses vs Tulips

There are many positives and negatives to having both roses and tulips. They both make lovely cut flowers. However, the type of care that they need is a bit different….

What Temperature Can Tulips Survive

What Temperature Can Tulips Survive?

Generally speaking, tulips should tolerate up to 28 degrees. Ideally, tulips should be kept below 54 degrees for the best growth. Avoid planting tulips above 28 degrees because that could damage them severely.

Can Tulips Survive Snow

Can Tulips Survive Snow?

Yes, Tulips can Survive snow without a problem. Although, heavy snowfall could get too heavy on the tulips, which could crush them. However, generally speaking, snow shouldn’t be a problem for tulips.

What to Do with Tulips After They Die

What to Do with Tulips After They Die?

After tulips die you should remove the flowers and leaves from the stem. Throw them away in the garbage and then, store them in a dark place for about 6 to 8 weeks before replanting them in the fall.