Bone Meal for Tulip- Is it Really Necessary?


You may be wondering if bone meal is really necessary for tulips, the answer would probably depend on what flowers you are growing. However, it can help to feed your plants with a high-quality fertilizer so that they will grow as healthy and beautiful as possible.

Is bone meal good for tulips? The answer is yes. Bone meal is a natural fertilizer that can be used to help your flowers grow up to twice as fast. Bone meal is also great for plants in general, so it’s worth using even if you don’t have tulips.

For years, the requirement of bone meals for normal tulip development has been debated. It’s clear that there are a variety of viewpoints on this topic all over the internet!

Many people believe that bone meals are essential, whereas others disagree.

So the actual issue is whether or not tulip bone meal is required.

Only use bone meal if your soil is deficient in phosphorus. Bone meal may be utilized if the phosphorus level is less than 25 ppm. However, too much bone meal might prevent vital tulip components from growing.

These were merely the top of the iceberg, to be sure. There are a number of additional important considerations to consider when deciding whether or not to use bone meal.

In this post, we’ll go through them in depth. So, what do you have to lose? Let’s get started!

What is Bone Meal, exactly?

Bone meal is a combination of ground animal bones and slaughterhouse by-products. 

What makes it so popular among gardeners? This is due to the high quantities of phosphorus and calcium it contains. It is utilized as an organic fertilizer, as you may have imagined.

The main goal of adding bone meal to the soil is to compensate for phosphorus deficit. Apart from this, it adds no more value.

You may look at some of the bone dinners that are offered online right here.

Is Bone Meal Necessary for Tulips, or Is It a Myth? 

No. Bone meal is not required for tulips in most situations. This is only necessary if your soil is deficient in phosphorus. When your soil’s phosphorus level is below 25 ppm, you may use bone meal to boost phosphorus levels.

Bone meal has been used as a soil additive for many years. However, you should be prepared to learn some unpleasant truths regarding adding bone meal.

Bone meal, according to every other source, is an absolute sweetheart when it comes to soil additives. They place a lot of emphasis on the notion that bone meals help build roots by simulating root growth. And it seems like everyone believes it.

This misconception, however, is due to the presence of Mycorrhizal fungus. The tip of the roots emits organic acids when there isn’t enough phosphorus in the soil. As a result, Mycorrhizae fungi are able to permeate these tips.

They, in turn, produce a complex structure that aids in the absorption of nutrients and water by the plants. 

When phosphorus supplements, such as bone meal, are introduced, the phosphorus level rises to dangerously high levels if not closely managed. This makes it difficult for Mycorrhizae fungi to penetrate, reducing their capacity to absorb nutrients and water.

This pushes the plants to expand their root systems in order to absorb more water and nutrients. However, there is a price to pay for this. The nutrients that are sent to the roots come from another conspicuous section of the plant. As a result, if too much bone meal is fed, the plants would develop slower.

To summarize, you should only utilize bone meal if your soil is deficient in phosphorus. Not only that, but the phosphorus level should be checked on a regular basis. They should never exceed 50 parts per million. There will be repercussions if this does not happen.

When and how should you use bone meal on your tulips?

Tulips do not benefit from the addition of bone meal. Bone feeds will not cause them to grow faster or their colors to become more brilliant. 

Tulips, on the other hand, need phosphorus for proper development. As a result, the soil must have a suitable level of phosphorus.

When is the best time to use bone meal?

It’s a common myth that you should add bone meal to tulip bulbs three weeks before planting them.

This, however, is unneeded for two reasons:

  • Bone meals take at least 4 months to fully decompose in the soil. As a result, using them three weeks before planting will be ineffective.
  • The initial set of tulip bulbs has everything they need to grow right out of the box. So it doesn’t matter whether your soil is deficient in phosphorus or not.

So, when is the best time to start growing bone meals?

It is recommended that you use bone meal when planting your tulip bulbs the following season. This is due to the fact that your soil is deficient in phosphorus.  

Because bone meal takes time to break down, it won’t aid much in the first season. Furthermore, the initial batch of bulbs contains sufficient energy to blossom.

So, after the spring-flowering tulips have done blooming and the green leaves can be seen, wait.

The Appropriate Amount of Bone Meal to Use

Now that you know when to use bone meal, you may be asking how much you should use.

For a regular container pot of 18*15 inches, use 0.25 oz of bone meal. Keep in mind that too much bone meal might lead to too much phosphorus in the soil. Excess phosphorous, as we addressed in the myth-busting part, is the last thing you need.

Follow these steps to apply bone meal:

  • Scratch them into the soil to add bone meal. They should not be applied directly to the bulbs. This isn’t going to help them. 
  • As previously said, apply. For 18*15 inches of container soil, use 25 oz of bone meal.
  • Before and after adding bone meal, till the soil uniformly. This will prevent the bulbs from gaining access to a portion of bone meal. Place them 3-4 inches under the bulbs to allow the roots to absorb phosphorus from the soil as they develop.

The optimal NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) analysis ranges from 0-12-0 to 3-20-0 in bone meal. It does not increase the quantity of potassium in the soil, but it does increase the amount of phosphorus.

Here is a list of bone meal packets that we recommend:

Are There Any Advantages to Using Bone Meal in Tulips?

We’ve spoken about the long-term consequences of using too much bone meal on tulips.

That isn’t to say that getting just enough bone meals (phosphorus, calcium) for their normal development isn’t beneficial. 

It’s important to remember that tulip development requires precisely the right amount of phosphorus in the soil. The main objective of bone meals is to do this.

Calcium’s Advantages

Tulips need calcium in order to develop properly. It aids in the creation of new cells’ cell membranes. It also preserves the cell membranes that are already in place robust and healthy.

Bone meals are high in calcium because they contain a pulverized combination of bones and waste particles. As a result, it aids in the regular development of tulips. However, if your plants are deficient in calcium, only use these calcium supplements.

Phosphorus’s Advantages 

The advantages of phosphorus in the soil do not need any more explanation. It is a necessary component for tulip growth to be regular.

It’s important to remember, however, that this will not aid the tulips in an unnatural manner. Tulips will grow normally with the right quantity of phosphorus in the soil.

Phosphorus is also important for photosynthesis, seed generation, flower production, energy transmission, and other processes. 

Is it Possible for Bone Meal to Harm Tulips?

Bone dinners in excess will undoubtedly hurt tulips in the long term. Extra phosphorus suggests excess bone meal. It is true that too much phosphorus is dangerous.

The majority of people believe that too much phosphorus will not hurt the tulips. This, however, is incorrect. 

The roots develop at an abnormally fast pace when there is too much phosphorus in the soil. 

What gives that this is possible? 

The nutrients that would have aided the growth of other sections of the plant, such as the leaves, are consumed by the roots. 

As a result, there is a cost associated with utilizing surplus bone meal. Weekly soil testing are required to maintain the phosphorus level below 25 ppm.

Here’s a list of phosphorus Kit for testings that you can use at home:

ImageKit for testingMethodology of ExaminationIt’s available now.
bone-meal-for-tulip-is-it-really-necessary-3544346bone-meal-for-tulip-is-it-really-necessary-4887132Rapitest Test Kit 1601 by Luster LeafKit for manual testingIt’s available now.
1650338664_411_bone-meal-for-tulip-is-it-really-necessary-44787561650338665_279_bone-meal-for-tulip-is-it-really-necessary-3617978Digital Soil Test Kit Luster Leaf 1605Kit for Digital TestingIt’s available now.

You can either choose the digital or the Kit for manual testing as you please.

What Should You Do If You Have Too Much Bone Meal?

Due to a lack of information, it’s conceivable that you’ve been using bone meal in the soil for a long time. Don’t panic just yet, even if this is dangerous.

Bone meal is a great fertilizer when compared to rock phosphate and other fertilizers. However, too much of it is harmful for obvious reasons. Check the phosphorus levels in your soil to see whether there has been an excessive quantity of bone meal applied. If you just have a little amount of extra phosphorus, simply stop using bone meal.

However, if you see that phosphorus levels are much higher (say, 70/80 ppm), you may apply particular fertilizers to bring them down. 

These fertilizers include the following:

In addition, nitrogen-fixing plants may be used to boost nitrogen levels. This won’t add phosphorus to the soil, but it will restore it to normal levels.

When is the best time to plant tulips?

The When is the best time to plant tulips? is fall. Tulip bulbs need a chilling period to bloom. 

After the warm season, the soil must be cooled before tulip bulbs may be planted. Furthermore, the temperature should not exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the soil temperature does not go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to purchase pre-cooled bulbs.

October is typically considered to be the ideal month for planting tulips. It will be about May when they blossom. This provides ample time for the roots to develop before the earth freezes. You may plant them in late November/December if the soil does not freeze.


Now we’ll go through some of the most frequently asked questions about bone meals.

Is Bone Meal Beneficial to Tulips?

When there is a dearth of phosphorus in the soil, tulips benefit from bone meal. Bone meals are a great way to get your phosphorous levels up to where they need to be. Phosphorus is also important for photosynthesis, seed and flower formation, and the movement of critical minerals, among other things.

Is it possible to give plants too much bone meal?

No. Plants will be harmed if there is too much bone meal in the soil. Extra phosphorus is accounted for by excess bone meal. Furthermore, an overabundance of phosphorus will shift nutrients from important regions to the roots. This will improve the roots, but it will come at a cost.

How Long Does Bone Meal Take to Work?

In order for bone meal to break down in soil, it must be left for at least four months. However, this is not the case. Some believe it takes a year for bone meals to function, while others say it takes two to three years.

Will Animals Be Attracted to Bone Meal? 

Yes. Bone meal will attract a lot of wildlife to your yard. Raccoons, dogs, and other carnivores fall within this category. Because bone meal is a pulverized combination of bone and waste particles, it attracts these animals.


We hope this article has shed some light on the importance of bone meal for tulips.

To summarize, bone meals are only required if the soil is deficient in phosphorus. The trick is to keep an eye on the phosphorus levels. Also, bear in mind that phosphorus levels must never exceed the acceptable quantity.

Thank you for sticking it out with us all the way to the finish. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments area!


Bone meal is a great fertilizer for tulips, but it can also be used to fertilize other flowers and plants. Bone meal provides nutrients that are beneficial for the bulbs, as well as helping with drainage of excess water from the soil. Reference: how to use bone meal for bulbs.

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