Plant your tulips now!
November into December is the ideal time to plant these gorgeous flowers. I hope that you managed to get your daffodils, alliums and other spring flowering bulbs in earlier this autumn, but Tulips do really ned to go in later.
Why? Tulips can be susceptible to a soil born fungus called tulip fire (Botrytis tulipae). This can distort you wonderful blooms stems and leaves, so as they almost looked scorched by fire...….hence the common name. If you plant your tulips later than other spring bulbs, i.e. when the soil has had a good dose of cold weather, the bulbs will more than likely not be affected.
My top tip is to plant your bulbs deeper than recommended (at least 15cm/ 6 inches when in the border), so they have a better chance of staying upright and re appearing next year. Also, if you have wet / clay soil, plant them on a layer of grit. In truth, I treat my tulips as annuals, (as I have them mainly in pots), so replant every year. Why? I love then so much I want a reliable colourful hit from March to June, and most tulips just aren't great repeaters. With planning, you can have tulips flowering for 4 months, and you get your pots back just in time to plant our you hardened off annuals such as Cosmos. Having said that, I have had some success with Tulips Queen of the Night, Ballerina (wonderful fragrance too) and Negrita coming back season after season.
Here are my current top 6 favourites (the bonus of treating tulips as annuals, means you get to try lots of new combinations every year). Even if it just one pot, get planting, you won't regret it.
Tulip Black Parrot, White Triumphator (I use with early Hostas and evergreen grasses like Carex frosted curls in a white garden courtyard), Candy prince (great with forget me nots), Havran, Princess Irene and the almost black Queen of the night (mix these dark velvet like beauties together along side wall flowers for a rich tapestry of spring colour)