The majority of tulips (Tulipa spp.) flower naturally in the spring, making them a symbol of new life and renewal. Many varieties of tulips produce blooms in varying shades of yellow, adding a cheerful “hello” to the new growing season. Yellow tulips require the same care and maintenance as other colored tulip varieties.
Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) and tulips (Tulipa spp.) are often the first flowers of spring. Daffodils are available for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 11, while tulips grow in USDA zones 3 through 9. Most daffodils feature bright yellow tubular flowers, while tulips come in a rainbow of colors. Mixing the two bulbs in a single bed creates a colorful spring display and can increase the flowering period if you mix early-flowering daffodils with midseason or late-blooming tulips. Both flowers grow best with full, all-day sunlight and have similar care needs, making them amiable companions.
Arrange the daffodil and tulip bulbs on the soil surface. Generally, cluster five to seven bulbs together, spacing the bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart within the cluster but setting clusters 12 inches apart. Alternate the bulbs in the cluster between daffodils and tulips so that each cluster contains both flowers for an informal look. For a more formal look, alternate clusters only containing daffodils with clusters only containing tulips.
Dig a planting hole for each bulb using a trowel. Make the hole deep enough that the flat bottom of the bulb is at a depth equal to about three times the bulb’s width. Set the bulbs in their holes, and fill the holes in with soil.
Water the bulb bed immediately after planting to help settle the soil. The daffodils and tulips require no further care until growth begins in spring.
Watering and Fertilizing
Resume watering when the bulbs send up shoots in spring. Provide about 1 inch of water weekly, or enough to moisten the top 6 inches of soil, if spring rain doesn’t keep the soil moist.
Sprinkle 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer over every 50 square feet of bed, applying the fertilizer to the soil between bulb clusters, after shoots appear. Water the fertilizer into the soil so that the roots can access the nutrients.
Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of compost and 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer over every 50 square feet of garden bed in the fall. Dig the compost and fertilizer into the top 6 inches of soil with a shovel.
Cut off the flowers as soon as they begin to wilt. Depending on the variety, daffodils may bloom earlier than tulips, so removing the old daffodils prevents them from detracting from the tulips’ beauty. Cut back the foliage after it dies back naturally, usually about six weeks after flowering.