An Info-Packed Post on Tulip Plants

dozens of gorgeous tulipsTulips are loved and sought-after the world over for their elegance, vibrant colors, frilly petals and ability to naturally multiply in gardens. Also, if you’re growing tulips, you don’t necessarily need to devote much time to tulip care.

Tulips need minimal care. By the way, there’s this online nursery called Brecks and it has a vast supply of tulips. You ought to check it out.

Now, this beautiful flower has a dramatic history to it. Originating as a wild flower in Central Asia and cultivated by the Turks, the tulips were passed into Europe by Ogier de Busbecq, the emissary of the Austrian emperor to Constantinople.

Busbecq sent some tulip bulbs to his biologist friend Carolus Clusius of Vienna, through whom the tulips reached Netherlands in 1601. This was the kick-off to the insane ‘tulipmania’ that ensued thereafter. Tulips became popular everywhere, particularly in Holland.

‘Tulipmania’ captivated the world in a wild frenzy to purchase tulips as a status symbol or sell it at higher prices. People sold houses, businesses, properties, farm animals, mortgaged homes, pawned jewels and traded land for just a single tulip bulb.

Tulip bulbs cost $1200-$4600/bulb at the peak of ‘tulipmania’ in 1634. In 1637, the economy crashed with the historical ‘tulip crash’, when traders released all their stock in the market, thus forcing prices to collapse sharply. Today, one can purchase tulips at something as low as .25 -$1.15/bulb.

The original tulips that grew in Turkey were the lily-flowering tulips, which had petals meeting at a point. But world’s biggest producer of tulip bulbs, Holland, produced a variety that was multicolored and round-petaled.

When this Dutch type reached Turkey, it raised yet another craze—the ‘tulip epoch’. The Rembrandt/parrot tulips ruled Turkey at that time. Today, the species tulips (or wild tulips) are preferred more than the hybrids for some benefits. Firstly, small flowers and short stem of the species tulips enhance the look.

Their flowers also have impressive color-range— lilac, orange, red, yellow, cream— and leaves range from bluish-green narrow types to banded broad types. Unlike hybrid tulips, species tulips can naturalize and multiply over a long period, growing new bulbs after every spring-bloom. These species or botanical tulips aren’t crossbred and hence more natural and perennialize.

Some hybrid tulips such as the Darwin hybrids in red, orange, yellow or bicolor perennialize too. BloomingBulb.com has a great supply of tulips.

Tips for growing tulips:

  • Plant bulbs in well-drained soil to avoid bulb rots and fungal diseases.
  • Water constantly post-planting but don’t allow water to stand.
  • Sandy soil is best. In other soils, add sand, compost and low-nitrogen fertilizer like well-rotted cow manure.
  • Plant tulip bulbs in October-November and fertilize in fall or spring.
  • Plant bulbs deep, depth being 3x the length of the bulb.
  • After spring flowering, deadhead the tulips, leaving the leaves to die naturally. This ensures stronger bulbs next season.
  • Transplant bulbs if the plants show signs of over-crowding.
  • Fresh cut tulips make excellent wedding flowers and look great in vases or small containers.
  • Tulips are disease-resistant, but sometimes they catch the disease ‘tulip fire’, in which growth is stunted. So gardeners must take proper care of tulips in order to grow the most healthy and stunning of tulips.

The Art of Comparing Tulip Plants – Discovering the Type of Tulip That Fits You Best

So, you’re interested in comparing tulip plants to see which one is right for you. Tulips come in many shapes, and sizes, so it shouldn’t be that difficult finding a tulip that’s right for you. In fact there are over 3,000 different species of tulip.

Some tulip species are similar, others are completely different. Brecks has a great selection of tulip bulbs for sale. Although tulips are usually associated with the classic “cup shape”, tulips can come in many shapes, and styles.

Compared to just flat petals, these plants can have petals that are twisted, feathered, frayed, and even star shaped (such as the lily flowered tulip). Tulips can also come in many sizes. As a rule though, the wild tulips are smaller, compared to the hybrid varieties.

Let’s talk about some of the colors of tulips. These plants come in every color of the rainbow, except blue, and there are usually a few variations of each color.

There are red tulips, white tulips, apricot tulips, yellow tulips, purple tulips, lavender tulips, and pink tulips to name a few. There are even tulips with a green streak running through each petal, which are a member of the “Varidiflora” class. Compared to other flowers that only have solid colors, tulips display colors a few different ways. While some do have solid colors.

Tulip plants can also be streaked, such as some of the “Rembrandt” tulips. They can also be multi-colored, such as some of the “Kaufmanniana” tulips. Another variety has blended colors, such as the “Fosteriana” tulips. The petals of these tulips have colors that blend into each other.

Now that we went over some of the colors of these plants, lets describe some of the other properties that have to deal with tulips. Tulips come in many sizes. The smaller tulips such as the “Species” tulips, may only grow to be about 5″ tall compared to the “Darwin Hybrids”, which may grow to be 30″ tall.

These tulips usually make up the bulk of the cut flower varieties that you buy in flower shops, or online. A lot of times when people think of tulips they think of the classic “cup-shaped” ones. While this is one style of tulip, there are many others.

Many species of tulips have feathered petals such as the parrot tulips. They can have frayed petals such as the “Fringed” tulips, or they can even resemble roses, such as the “Double Late” tulips.

With so many different varieties and styles of tulips, there is sure to be a plant that’s right for you. Whether as a cut flower to spruce up a dining room, or a border for your garden, tulips make an excellent choice.

Stuart Jones
 

My name is Stuart Jones and I'm the guy responsible for most of the content on this website. I'm a horticulturist with over 25 years of experience in gardening and garden plants. To bring color throughout the year, I regularly grow a wide variety of plants, bulbs, flowers, shrubs and trees. Oh, and let’s not forget the fruits and vegetables to ensure the fridge is always stocked!

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