Timeline tulip cultivation

  • January



    In January, before the tulips emerge, the weeds are sprayed away. Next, tulip growers spread fertilizer to give the tulips extra nutrients.

  • February and March



    The tulip grower checks the leaves of the tulips for viruses. Diseased plants (mostly with red streaks on the leaves) are removed to prevent the spread of the virus. Six weeks later, the plants are checked again.

  • Early April


    The bulbs are blooming slowly. Depending on the temperature and sunshine, some years this is a little earlier than others.

  • April

    Checking for diseases


    As soon as a flower bud is visible, this is a good time for the bulb grower to check the tulips again for diseases.

  • Late April



    The tulips are in bloom for about 10 to 14 days. Diseased tulips are removed as soon as possible. This is done manually.

  • May

    Headlining the tulip


    Alas, the beautiful colored tulip fields are coming to an end. The flower bulbs are headed. This is done to get a strong bulb, from which an even larger and more beautiful tulip can then bloom later. Before harvesting, the tulip grower controls fungi and aphids.

  • Late June to late July

    Harvest time


    It is harvest time so main bulb and below it several small bulbs are taken from the land. Once out of the ground, they are transported in large crates to the grower or hatchery in North Holland. They are stored in a warm barn (of 25 degrees Celsius).

  • August

    Peeling and sorting


    It is time to peel and sort the bulbs. The large bulbs go to the greenhouse or are exported at a later date. The small bulbs are transported to Flevoland in the fall to go back into the ground. The large bulbs are in a shed, where the temperature slowly goes down (to 5 degrees Celsius). In this way, growers mimic the winter period.

  • September

    In the greenhouse


    Consumers want to be able to buy a bunch of tulips from late December through May. The bulb grower therefore schedules which crates of large bulbs are heated first and go to the greenhouse. In the greenhouse, they grow up to tulip with a stem of about 36 centimeters. By no means all bulbs bloom in a Dutch greenhouse. Much of the bulbs are exported to countries such as Japan, China, America and Russia.

  • October



    While in the greenhouses tulips are growing in abundance for sale at home and abroad, tulip growers are driving new bulbs to the land in the polder. They plant small bulbs on nets so they can get them out of the ground easily in the spring. Once in the ground, several new bulbs grow from a tulip bulb.