🚚 FREE Domestic Shipping on Orders Over $75
Looking for Deals? Shop Sale

Everything You Need to Know About Tulips!

Everything You Need to Know About Tulips!

Say hello to one of the world's favorite and most recognizable flowers, Tulips, of course! The classic, egg-shaped blossoms lend an air of elegance and sophistication wherever they go, making them perfect for gardens and bouquets. Oh, but that's not all - Tulips offer an astonishing array of flower forms and colors. So now, let's explore the different varieties and how to care for them, shall we? 

Classic Dutch Tulips

Have you ever wondered where the world's love affair with these classic flowers began? Well, the answer is with Dutch Tulips! These tall, statuesque blossoms were bred for highly symmetrical form in a spectacular range of colors, quickly making them the emblem of spring. Since the mid-1600s, Dutch Tulips have been a prominent feature in art, beauty, and fashion. In fact, they became so popular that many people didn't realize other types existed at all! 

Species Tulips (Wild Tulips)

Alright, if the classic Dutch variety inspired the world's passion for Tulips, these petite, starry blooms are where the story truly begins. When Species types were first discovered growing on dry hillsides of modern-day Turkey, they flaunted bright shades and star-shaped forms that enchanted the Ottoman Empire more than 1,000 years ago. Additionally, they're much hardier than Dutch Tulips, with some even thriving in warmer climates, and they come back every spring bigger and better!

Double Tulips (Peony Tulips)

In a happy turn of events, breeders of Dutch Tulips found them remarkably amenable to changing flower forms. This discovery allowed for greater diversity from the classic egg-shaped blooms we all know and love. Instead of a single layer of six petals, Double Tulips boast three or more layers of petals, resulting in a very full form reminiscent of Peonies. Not to mention, many of these types are fragrant, furthering the resemblance to Peonies. 

Parrot Tulips

Parrot Tulips are marvelously flamboyant bloomers sporting ruffles and fringe in all the right places. Not to mention, they arrive in brilliant colors, often with vivid flares and flames. Amazingly, these spectacular blooms are the result of Dutch breeders taking advantage of a damaging virus that arose in the mid-1600s. The beautiful effects of careful cross-breeding developed healthy Tulips with the striking color breaks first seen in the diseased Viceroy and Semper Augustus of Tulipomania fame. Today, these types are completely healthy and unforgettable in spring gardens and bouquets!

Viridiflora Tulips (Green Tulips)

If you're looking for something with a slightly quieter appeal, these stylish charmers are for you! As the name suggests, Viridiflora Tulips, better known as Green Tulips, exhibit lush green streaks and flares on their petals. Plus, they have an exceptionally long bloom time (looking their best for three weeks or more!) and particularly sturdy stems, making them outstanding both in the garden and the vase! 

Lily Flowered Tulips

Slim flowers with elongated, pointed, and recurved petals appear quite late in the Tulip blooming season. Taller than many others in this clan, Lily Flowered Tulips end the season in style, opening wide like an Oriental Lily for a dramatic display in gardens or bouquets. Oh, and did we mention they're often fragrant?!

How to Plant & Grow Tulip Bulbs

  1. Start with Excellent Quality: Did you know that the flowers and leaves you see in spring are already tucked away inside each fall-planted bulb? Well, it just goes to show how important it is to choose high-quality bulbs! 
  2. When to Plant Tulip Bulbs: Tulips should be planted in the cooling soils of fall, a good six weeks before the ground freezes for the winter. They perform best where the temperature gets sufficiently cold to meet their needs, in climate zones 3-8, with some species types thriving in zones 9 and 10.
  3. Sun Exposure for Tulips: You can plant Tulips in partial shade, but select a spot that receives full sun for at least six hours for the best outcome. 

Planting Depth and Spacing for Tulip Bulbs

Give your bulbs a home in damp, nutritionally rich soil that drains well and plant them with the pointed end facing up at least 6" deep for most climates and varieties. In areas with more mild weather, they can be planted 8" deep to give the bulbs a cooler experience. Smaller Species types should be buried 3" deep in most regions and 4" deep where winters are very mild. Allow 3 to 4" between Species Tulip bulbs and 4 to 5" between larger varieties. 

How to Water Tulip Bulbs

Once your Tulips have been planted, it's time to consult the weather forecast to determine the next step. If there's no rain expected in the next week to 10 days, water your freshly planted bulbs thoroughly. Provide moisture only when the soil is dry, and no rainfall is anticipated until spring. 

How to Care for Tulips After Blooming

Despite their beautiful and often highly decorated appearance, Tulips are remarkably easy to grow! However, encouraging them to bloom year after year can be a little tricky. These bulbs are native to a climate with cold, frozen winters and hot, dry summers, so if your climate matches, you'll enjoy repeat shows if you leave their bed completely dry during the summer. However, in areas where summers are milder, or rain is common, your Tulips will not rebloom as well and should be replanted every few years. Avoid cutting off the foliage when still green, instead allowing it to stay intact until entirely yellow or brown, as the leaves will provide nutrients for future growth. Feel free to snip flower stems for bouquets or to remove spent blooms. 

Alright, there you have it - everything you need to know about the different types of Tulips and how to grow them! These gorgeous growers are super low-maintenance and perfect for gardeners of all levels. Just keep in mind that wild animals tend to love Tulips as much as we do, so if pesky critters are a problem where you live, consider that! 

Previous Post Next Post

  • Katie Elzer-Peters