If you live in the northern states of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 6, just about any species tulip works for you. If you reside in the South, however, or mild-winter areas of the West and don't want to bother with putting your bulbs through a "chilling" period, plant species tulips that overwinter in Zones 8 through 10.
- Planting: Your tulips will tolerate some shade, but for the best display, choose a sunny site. Soil should be either humus-rich or sandy loam with good drainage. Plant the bulbs about 4 inches deep, or three to four times the width of the bulb. Water well after planting.
- After blooming: Encourage reseeding by leaving the faded flower heads on the plant. And, just as with other tulips, let the foliage die back naturally to recharge the bulbs.
- Fertilizing: You don't need to fertilize bulbs the first year after planting, but in successive years, you can topdress in fall with compost, well-rotted manure, or a commercial organic fertilizer.
Species tulips are often listed in the "other" or "miscellaneous" sections of bulb catalogs.
Brent and Becky's Bulbs brentandbeckysbulbs.com
Dutch Gardens dutchgardens.com
John Scheepers johnscheepers.com
McClure & Zimmerman mzbulb.com
Old House Gardens oldhousegardens.com
Tulip World tulipworld.com