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Tulips Gardening – Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

Elvis Elvis

Tulips require partial sun to flourish. As a result when you bring them indoors they tend to survive only about 3 days. Tulips are actually a native of central Asia and migrated to China and Mongolia. From there they ended up in Europe where the Turkish Empire was greatly known for having the tulips that now are a huge part of the Netherlands.

The Dutch lay claim to being the master of tulips. This is because of a renowned gardener Carolus Clusius who in the 16th century became the first to cultivate tulips.

Did you know… Tulips are considered to be Wild Flowers due to the fact they have origins in mountainous terrain. Some tulips grow under rocks and are found in the highest elevation climates.

TULIP CATEGORIES:

Common ways to group tulips is by bloom time and or by flower height. When you are designing your flower gardens you’ll want to consider both groupings.

Using Bloom Time – By mixing tulips that bloom at different times of the year you will have flowers all season long.

Using Tulip Height – By knowing the various heights you can stagger your tulips so shorter varieties are in the front, taller tulips in the back.

Tulips require partial sun to flourish. As a result when you bring them indoors they tend to survive only about 3 days. Tulips are actually a native of central Asia and migrated to China and Mongolia. From there they ended up in Europe where the Turkish Empire was greatly known for having the tulips that now are a huge part of the Netherlands.

Tulips Gardening   Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

The Dutch lay claim to being the master of tulips. This is because of a renowned gardener Carolus Clusius who in the 16th century became the first to cultivate tulips.

Did you know… Tulips are considered to be Wild Flowers due to the fact they have origins in mountainous terrain. Some tulips grow under rocks and are found in the highest elevation climates.

TULIP CATEGORIES:

Common ways to group tulips is by bloom time and or by flower height. When you are designing your flower gardens you’ll want to consider both groupings.

Using Bloom Time – By mixing tulips that bloom at different times of the year you will have flowers all season long.

Using Tulip Height – By knowing the various heights you can stagger your tulips so shorter varieties are in the front, taller tulips in the back.

Early Blooming Tulips:

Kaufmanniana: These tulips are low in stature and bloom early. The Water Lily-Tulip is in this category. These grow to heights of 8-14 inches.

Species Tulips: These are very early bloomers, delicate, and are usually between the heights of 4-10 inches.

Fosteriana: They have large blooms on mid-sized plants and are early bloomers. These usually grow to heights of 14-16 inches.

Single Early: These tulips are solid colored and usually grow top heights of 16-18 inches.

Greigii: These are early blooming, low growing tulips and have interesting markings on their foliage.

Tulips Gardening   Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

Mid-Season Blooming Tulips:

Darwin Hybrids: These are the ones people usually think of when envisioning tulips. They are tall and beautiful and usually grow to heights of 20-24 inches.

Triumph: These are hybrids of the early and late blooming varieties. They are medium in height, have strong stems, and bloom mid-season.

Fringed Tulips: They have a fringe at the top of the flower and usually grow to heights of between 18-20 inches.

Late Season Blooming Tulips:

Doubles: These come in varieties that bloom early ad late. They have very full petals and are sometimes referred to as peony tulips. These grow to between 20-24 inches.

Lily-Flowered: This tulip is a late bloomer and long lasting perennial type of flower that grows to between 20-22 inches.

Parrot Tulips: The Dutch painters often portrayed these tulips possibly because they have odd petals and their colors are broken (caused by a virus). They grow to between 18-22 inches.

Tulips Gardening   Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

Others:

Early Tulips: These tulips represent the old-fashioned variety and they often have great fragrance and longevity in the garden.

Botanical Tulips: These are very low in stature.

Design & Site Layout:

Tulips look best when planted in informal groupings. They also look great in blocks of solid colors with 20+ bulbs in the mix. You may like the idea of planting several different types of tulips together so you will have:

  • Mix of color
  • Mix of height
  • Mix of blooming times for season long flowers
  • And mix of styles.

Planting & Care of Tulip Tips:

* Plant your tulip bulbs about 3 times the height of the tulip bulbs.

* An exception to the above rule is with perennial type tulips where you should plant the bulbs a little deeper.

* Choose a very sunny location that has at least 6-8 hours of direct sunshine per day.

* Make sure the soil where you plant your tulips has good drainage because tulips do not do well in heavy or compacted soils.

* Fertilize your tulip bulbs with a slow-release fertilizer that is formulated for bulbs.

* In the coming years fertilize the returning tulips when foliage emerges.

* Provide medium amounts of water but not too much. Make sure to get water to the bulbs.

* When your tulips fade and the petal s fall off, deadhead your plants. This is where you pinch the flower heads off and leave the stem and leaves.

* By allowing the stems and leaves to stay until they turn brown, important nutrients are able to return to the bulbs for next season’s growth.

Tulips differ from many other bulbs because the bulbs produced after each growing period are new bulbs. The existing bulbs are used up producing the new growth, leaves, flowers, and new bulbs. These new bulbs are in an embryonic stage and waiting to replace the current planted bulb.

Tulips Gardening   Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

It is normal for 2-3 new bulbs to replace the old one. The growth of the new bulbs is done primarily in the period between flowering and senescence. Ideal conditions for this new bulb growth are cool-warm temperatures combined with nutrition and moisture.

Dormant tulip bulbs are an energy storehouse which contains everything for the entire plant to grow and then one day flower. The bulb contains nutrition, and the embryonic leaves, flowers and new bulbs within. This is where storage becomes an issue. Even while the bulbs are dormant and being stored before planting, they are alive and continually using energy and lose moisture while all this is going on.

Tulips do not always produce the same quality of flowers in subsequent years as the first year. This is not an issue if you are planning on approaching your tulips as annuals. If this is the case, you’ll simply discard your old tulips each year and start fresh each season.

Tulips Gardening   Tremendous Variety In Color, Shapes And Sizes

On the other hand, if you plan on the continuation of your tulips as perennials you need to approach their lifecycle differently. To get them to perform each year here are some steps to take:

* Tulips need at least 8 weeks to develop the flower after lifting.

* They need this period to be chilled like in a garage or refrigerator but not frozen.

* Tulips vary in the amount of cold they need to produce good growth. You’ll need to look at the specific variety and see what’s best for that type of tulip.

* Choose varieties that are known and proven to do well in the type of conditions in which you live.

All flowers have potential problems which include disease, pest and fungus. Tulips have their set of issues as well and here are a few of them:

Blight or Fire (Botrytis Tulipae): This causes small brown flecks in the leaves. When the bulb is infected the plant is a yellowish pale green. As the rot develops it causes a light gray discoloration and brown on the borders. The stems may even rot off completely and a gray mold may cover the infected area. Solution: Destroy the diseased plants.

Crown Rot: This causes rotting with the bulb and stem below the ground. The leaves will turn red, wilt, and then die.

Gray Bulb Rot: This causes the tulip to fail to emerge in the spring time. If they do emerge, they will soon wither and die. The rotted bulbs are covered with heavy gray mold. Solution: Avoid poorly drained soil and remove all infected plants.

Stem Rot & Flower Spot: You will see this most often on the double flowered varieties grown in moist shaded areas with poor air circulation. The flower stalks will shrivel causing the tulips flower to fall over. Solution: Improve air circulation, get into more direct sunlight, and make sure you have proper drainage.

Tulip Breaking Virus: This causes irregular spotting and striping of the flowers. The leaves may even be mottled and the tulip plants reduced in size and vigor. Solution: Control the aphids which carry the disease and destroy the infected plants.

Winter Injury: This can occur when bulbs are planted late, or planted in heavy clay, or where drainage is poor. The roots fail to grow and the shoots are distorted and abnormal. As a result the tulip bulbs will decay.