Choosing and planting Tulip bulbs in the fall to bloom in the spring can be a little trickier than selecting Daffodils. Only a few varieties are perennial. Most of the really pretty tulips have a short life. Plant them only if you don't mind lifting and and replaced them after a few years. That’s a lot of work. Perennial varieties of Tulips return year after year and will show no signs of waning if they are fertilized twice during the growing season.
Here is a list of perennial tulips:- Darwin Hybrids in colors of Red, Rose, Orange, yellow and two-tone, Emperor Tulips, some Triumph tulips, Species tulips, Gregeii tulips. There is a grove of red Kaufmania tulips in my garden that have been reblooming reliably for 15 years. For best results, plant tulip bulbs at least 8 inches deep to encourage them to perform as perennials.
Here‘s what to do to ensure that perennial Tulips bloom for many seasons. After the Tulip flower has finished blooming, cut down the stem and head of the tulip. In addition, cut down all of the foliage of that Tulip except for the one large leaf at the base of the plant; allow that leaf to continue to grow until it turns yellow. At that point in time, it may be discarded or can be camouflaged by summer perennials that will hide it.
Under normal climatic conditions it is possible to protect Tulip bulbs from being eaten by squirrels. Sprinkle chili pepper flakes [capsicum] directly onto the tulip bulb after it has been placed in its hole. Then sprinkle more flakes on top of the earth after the hole has been filled. When squirrels have no problem foraging for traditional nourishment, the chili flakes are a sufficient deterrent. But be forewarned. In some area of North America this does not dissuade the squirrels. You will only know if it works where you live if you try it.
In the previous two blogs that dealt with spring flowering bulbs that are planted in fall, I recommended easy ways to purchase bulbs. That advice applies to Tulips as well.