What is tulips growing zone? What is the best time to plant tulips for successful blooming?

tulips growing zone

Tulips are spring’s brightly colored heralds. Not only in color, but also in size, form, and bloom time, they can be quite different. To maintain healthy growth, it’s necessary to plant tulips at the proper time and in a hardiness zone. This article from gardenhow.net will give you more information about the tulips growing zone and the best time to plant tulips for blooming success. 

Read on to learn more flowered tulip info.

What are Growing zones?

Growing Zones, often known as “hardiness zones” or “gardening zones,” are a USDA-developed chart that divides the United States into sections based on average low winter temperatures. 

Hardiness zones are areas that you can find on a growing area map that show exactly which plants are best suited to thrive within your particular area or zone. When you find out how growing zones work, you’ll be able to build and develop your garden better, especially the tulips growing zone. 

Temperature range for Growing zones

Growing Zones are divided into 13 regions that cover all of the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. 

Each zone reflects a ten-degree change in temperature. Each zone is further subdivided into “a” & “b” sections. This is a difference of five degrees in temperature.

For example, while Zone 1 has an average minimum winter temperature of -60 to -50 degrees F, Zone 13 is 60 to 70 degrees F.

Temperature Range for Growing Zones
Temperature Range for Growing Zones

Tulips growing zone

Tulips Growing Zone
Tulips growing zone

Zone 3 -7

Tulips require a cold winter to flower, which is why they thrive in colder climates, especially hardiness zones 3–7 because they like chilly conditions to develop and bloom in, they need to be kept cool. So the best tulips growing zone is zones 3 to 7.

Zone 3

Plant hardiness Zone 3 is present in Alaska, the northern United States and at high elevations. 

Zone 3 can expect minimum mean temperatures between -40 and -30 degrees F.

Zone 3a has an average temperature of not less than -40 to -35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 3b has a mean temperature from at least -35 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each of the two subzones may experience more severe temperatures as a function of weather conditions.

Zone 4

Plantation Zone 4 covers the coastal regions of southern Alaska, the northern regions of the United States and the high elevations of the western mountains.

Area 4 may expect minimum mean temperatures of -30 to -20 degrees F.

The average temperature in zone 4a is at least -30 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Area 4b has a minimum mean temperature between -25 and -20 degrees F.

Both sub-zones may experience more severe temperatures depending on weather conditions.

Only very cold-resistant autumn bulbs may be planted as perennials in areas 3 and 4 such as Tulips, Daffodils, and Snowdrops…

Zone 5

Zone 5 also is a part of the Tulips Growing Zone. Plant hardiness Zone 5 includes the southern coastal region of Alaska, the north-central U.S.A., and parts of New England. 

With average minimum temperatures ranging from -20 to -10 degrees F, the area experiences a moderately cold winter. 

Zone 6

USDA Hardiness Zone 6 encompasses much of the US. Referred to as the generally mild climate, the average minimum winter temperature is between -10 and 0°F. With a cold winter and mild to warm summers, you have numerous growing options in Zone 6. Consequently, Zone 6 is appropriate for tulip growing zones.

Zone 7

Planting Area 7 covers approximately 15 US states. This zone includes cool winters with average minimum temperatures ranging from 0 to 10 degrees F. The warm summers of area 7 allow the flowering of most annuals.


Zone 8 – 10

Tulips, despite their strength, should be planted appropriately in your garden, with specific attention devoted to USDA zones 8 and 10.

In USDA areas 8 to 10, however, you should simulate this cold experience. Refrigerating the bulb for two months provides the necessary cold treatment to encourage spring bloom.

Zones 8-10 of the USDA tend to have warm and early autumns that are not suitable for tulip planting, as the bulbs prefer soil temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also plant your tulips in areas 8 and 9 of the USDA from late November to early December. For warmer zone 10, wait until the beginning of January to bury the bulb approximately 6 inches beneath the well-draining soil. Zone 8 to 10 is another choice for the tulips growing zone

Zone 8 

For a considerable area of the southern United States, Zone 8 is considered one of the warmest plant hardiness zones. Zone 8 stretches up the western coast, with average low winter temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees F. Growers benefit from an extended planting season due to the hot summers and mild winters.

Zone 9

Planting Zone 9 is a year-round zone for planting. This zone, which includes California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico coast, has warm winters and hot summers. Zone 9 has active gardens all year long, with an average minimum winter temperature of 20 to 30 degrees F.

In this zone, the heat is more of a problem than the cold due to long, hot summers and mild winters.

Zone 10 

Southern Inland California, southern Florida, and Hawaii are the only three places in the United States where the average minimum winter temperature is only 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Zone 10 gardeners have the advantage of avoiding cold temperatures in the winter, but the severe heat of the summer months limits planting opportunities

What is the best time to plant tulips for successful blooming?

Planting tulip bulbs depends on your USDA zone, but in most cases, tulips should be planted in the fall or early winter. Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, 6 to 8 weeks before the first hard frost. Planting too soon can result in disease concerns. Therefore, Fall is the best time to grow tulips for blooming success. 

Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, 6 to 8 weeks before the first hard frost
Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, 6 to 8 weeks before the first hard frost

Your soil temperature should be between 55 and 60 degrees at that time, and your nighttime temperatures should be between 40 and 50 degrees.

Gardeners in USDA zones 1 through 3 should aim to plant in September or October, in late September to early November ( zone 4 & zone 5), in October to mid-December ( zone 6 & 7).

Tulip bulbs should be purchased in mid-September to mid-October and maintained in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator until early January for gardeners in USDA zones 8 through 10. 

Plant when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 6 inches, as measured by a soil thermometer.

Tulips require a time of cooling before blooming. Buy pre-cooled bulbs and plant them in December if you plan to produce tulips in places where the soil temperature does not dip below 60 degrees for at least 12 weeks.

Based on the tulips growing zone choose an appropriate time for success to flourish.

How to Grow Tulips Throughout the Season?

Growth habit

Tulips are upright and erect, with each bulb producing a single flower on a stem without leaves and without a knot.


The majority of tulip stems are strong and do not require staking. In spring winds and heavy rain, however, hybrids with large flowers can be top-heavy and require support.


Always water bulbs after planting to encourage root growth before winter hibernation. Because much water might develop rot diseases in bulbs, regular rainfall should be sufficient during the spring. Additional water may be essential to prolong flowering in a hot, dry spring.

Providing enough amount of water for your Tulips
Providing enough amount of water for your Tulips


Fertilize bulbs when they are planted in the autumn and again when sprouts appear in the early spring. At a rate of one teaspoon per bulb, broadcast a 4-10-6 organic bulb fertilizer.


After planting, cover the bulb bed with 2-3″ of mulch to insulate the soil, keep it wet, and keep dirt from splashing on the blooms.

Trimming & Pruning

To avoid seed development, remove spent flowers. Allow stems and leaves to gradually die down to a yellow or brown color before removing them. If the leaves are removed while they are still green, the bulb will not be able to store enough nourishment to blossom the next year.

Trimming and pruning Tulips for successful blooming in the next year
Trimming and pruning Tulips for successful blooming in the next year

Caring for Tulips After they Flower

Flowering time refers to the time at which the tulips of the flowering season of this group of tulips will bloom. It will change depending on your location. Warm climate gardeners will see the flowers of their tulip bulbs two to six weeks before northern climate gardeners.

Taking care of Tulips after the bloom so they can fresh longer
Taking care of Tulips after the bloom so they can fresh longer

The type of tulip you planted and the growth circumstances in your garden will determine tulips blooming again. If the bulbs produce blooms for a second year, the blossoms will be smaller and fewer in number. The easiest method to ensure a spectacular spring display of tulips is to plant new bulbs each autumn. 

  • After the flower fades, trim the stalk and remove the flower.
  • For a while, the foliage will remain green, but after a few weeks, it will start becoming shriveled and yellow. It’s important to maintain the foliage for as long as possible since the leaves photosynthesize and store energy, allowing the bulb to grow and blossom the next year.
  • There is no need to water the area where you planted your tulips unless your garden is in a period of prolonged drought.
  • In the autumn, apply bulb fertilizer or bone meal as directed in the package. This will provide extra nutrients that will be available for the plant’s roots throughout the fall and subsequent spring.

The most important part of taking care of the tulips after flowering is to make sure to remove the used flower stem and allow the leaves to fade naturally.

Q & A

Do you grow tulips anywhere?

Tulips of all kinds are most effective in a sunny and sheltered location, in well-drained soil. Tulips prefer a location with full sunlight or afternoon.

The soil needs to be well – draining, neutral to slightly acid, fertile and dry or sandy. All tulips hate excessively humid areas.

Planting tulips behind perennials on a border is a smart idea since the perennials’ developing foliage will hide the tulips’ foliage when it dies back.

If your soil is very heavy, you can fill the planting hole with horticultural grit.

What is the best climate to grow tulips?

Tulips flourish in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there is such a thing as too cold for tulips: the plant’s temperature tolerance limit is 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Tulip buds and blossoms will be destroyed if the temperature falls below this threshold.

Tulips begin to show symptoms of development when the temperature reaches 60 degrees. At 68 degrees, flowers and leaves begin to develop. Tulip breeders commonly chill the bulbs to ensure that they may be planted at the appropriate time. Tulips may be planted as late as early December and still produce flowers in the spring.

Final Thoughts

The above article of gardenhow.net provided a summary of the information on the tulips growing zone as well as when to plant tulips for flowering. You may create a vibrant spring show that lasts for several weeks by picking your tulip bulbs according to their flowering season.

Related posts:
When do tulips bloom?
10 best types of Tulips growing from bulbs for your pretty garden
How to plant tulips in the fall?
How to take care of Tulips in a vase?

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