The tulip is the starflower bulb of our gardens. A well-known, it declares the arrival of spring more than any other flower. They are the queens of beautiful springs. Also, they are so easy to grow that it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.
You can decorate your gardens, terraces, balconies, or interiors with colorful tulips. Easily recognizable thanks to its magnificent bulbs, this flower is a must in the most beautiful gardens in Europe, but still requires special care and attention to planting and maintenance. Let’s discover here the main basics you need to know to plant and care for your tulips properly!
As you read this, you can learn the following:
* The Meaning of The Tulip
* Tulip Varieties
* How to Plant Tulip Bulbs
* The Potted Tulip
* Tulip Pruning and Maintenance
* Tulip and Flower Association
* Diseases and Parasites
The Meaning of The Tulip
In spring, the tulip blooms and thrives. It adds colors, with its vivid hues, flower beds, yards, balconies, and houses. Native to Mediterranean Europe as far as Asia, tulips have been cultivated for centuries for their beauty. As Holland has many commercial exchanges with Turkey and Asia, it started to spread mainly in this country. At the end of the 16th century, the tulip was introduced in Europe by Charles de l’Écluse, a Dutch botanist. The cultivation of tulips in the Netherlands comes, initially, from the first modern financial bubble, «La tulipomania.» Many horticulturists created thousands of varieties with different colors and shapes.
* Botanical tulips are varieties that flower in March/April and resemble wild species.
* Early tulips: as the name suggests, these tulips blossom early in March/April. Their flowers are single or double.
* Late tulips such as «parrot» tulips and «lily» tulips also have single or double flowers, but bloom in late April – early May.
The tulips are so rich in terms of shades and shapes. This variety is impressive and remarkable. The flowers often have bright colors, yellow-orange, red, pink, purple, and white. The leaves of the tulips are usually soft green. They can also be diversified with purple or silver.
There are tulips for every garden and every taste. Among the most spectacular are the so-called Murillo varieties with double flowers and sophisticated colors. More classic, the Queen of the Night tulip is almost black and superb in a modern bed. In a pot, try the Parrot family of tulips. They form lovely ruffled tufts. If you grow tulips for bouquets, choose tulip varieties with long stems, to be planted in protected areas of the garden. The Greenland tulip, pale pink with green borders, or the Darwin tulip family, is particularly suitable for bouquets.
How to Plant Tulip Bulbs
The planting period for tulip bulbs takes place from October to December (excluding the frost period). To encourage good rooting and high flower production, early planting is favorable. Dig holes about 15 cm deep every 10 cm. If you opt for a flower carpet effect, you can also dig up the relevant part of the garden extensively, remove a layer of soil of about 10 cm, place the bulbs pointing upwards and cover the whole without packing down with the soil set aside.
If the weather is wet, it’s not necessary to water. Do not hesitate to plant tightly for a mass effect. Tulip bulbs appreciate the light, draining soil to develop and avoid bulb rot. Do not hesitate to amend heavy soils with sand. Choose a sunny or semi-shaded bed to plant your tulip bulbs.
Plant them using a trans-planter or a bulb planter in soil prepared for the occasion. Place them in groups of 5 to 10 to create masses of color in your flower beds. There is a simple rule of thumb to determine the depth at which your bulbs should be planted: bury the bulb two to three times its height.
Water with a watering can fit with an apple to naturally compact the soil. For those who are not fortunate enough to own a garden, you can plant your tulip bulbs in pots and planters. Preferably choose short-stemmed tulips and plant densely to enjoy a superb floral display from the first days of spring.
The Potted Tulip
The tulip grows well in pots and planters. Proceed in the same way and place your containers in the sun or half-shade. Don’t forget the clay balls in the bottom of the jars to avoid too much humidity. If you want to place a tulip indoors, avoid areas that are too hot and place the pot outside overnight.
When planting in pots, favor short-stemmed varieties of tulips such as botanical or early varieties. For planting, proceed as follows:
* Make a soil mixture in your containers consisting of topsoil, planting soil and coarse sand.
* Plant the bulbs in the combinations by putting 3 to 4 tulip bulbs per pot.
* Adjust the potting soil according to the height of the bulbs, and you have finished your potted planting. Once planted, the tulips must be cared for.
Tulip Pruning and Maintenance
For tulips placed in the garden, let the leaves wither before cutting and leave the bulbs in the ground until the next season. If you want to keep your bulbs for a long time, pull them out once all the leaves are well browned, store them in the shade in a container filled with sand or sawdust. You can replant the tulip bulbs in the fall. Do not cut the tulip foliage before it has wilted.
Tulip and Flower Association
Large-flowered tulips are ideal for use in beds and borders with spring perennials or biennials, such as large-flowered pansies, small viola cornuta, but also with other spring bulbs (daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses.) They are also beautiful alone in pots or planters.
Botanical tulips are ideal for giving a touch of color in a rockery. They are perfect for use in gardens and edges.
Diseases and Parasites
Tulips have few enemies other than field mice and moles that can attack growing bulbs. The best way to control these small mammals is to plant tulip bulbs in baskets that are placed at the bottom of planting holes. Be very careful when choosing bulbs at planting time and remove any damaged or rotting bulbs.
Tulips are easy to plant and care if you want to take one’s first steps in «floral art.» They are self-sufficient, they can be used as a mixture or as a single color in a small vase. Tulips do not require much maintenance, but a few precautions are to be taken to ensure a beautiful flowering. First, it is essential to choose your bulbs carefully before buying them. Also, the bulbs must be firm and free of any signs of mold or stains. Their skin should be beautiful and light brown.