Do not wait to plant your Tulip bulbs. All spring flowering bulbs, including Tulips, should be planted before the following winter, as this allows them to go through an annual dormancy period necessary for their growth.
In autumn, after being planted, the bulbs develop roots. When the temperatures start to go down, they settle in for a period of dormancy. Like the potato and the onion, the flower bulb is a package full of energy, mainly starch.
In the center of the bulb, a tiny flower is hidden, much like an embryo that is waiting for the right moment to start developing. With the low temperatures of winter, the starch turns into sugar, and when the temperatures rise again in the spring, the small flower has enough energy and food (thanks to the sugar!) to be able to grow into a full-grown flower.
After the flowering period, the plant produces offspring that might grow large enough to produce flowers the following year. During the warmth of the summer months, the young bulbs develop a new, tiny flower, and at that point the process has come full circle.