When thinking of tulips, most of us immediately think of the beautiful, single tulip cups that adorn our gardens in April – but there is so much more to them!
Available in nearly every colour of the rainbow, with sizes varying from 20-75cm, available in all manner of pleasing flower shapes and petal arrangements – and even some with stripey foliage too – just a little careful planning means it’s possible to have tulips flowering in your garden from March through to June.
What Varieties are Available?
There are fifteen (yes, you read that right!) groups based on flower type and plant size, we’ve listed just some of them below:
Single Early – bloom early to mid-season with cup-shaped, single flowers on plants 15-45cm tall.
Double Early – full double flowers made up of dozens of petals on plants 30-40cm tall, bloom early to mid-season.
Triumph – single cup-shaped flowers, on plants 35-60cm tall, bloom mid to late season.
Darwin Hybrid – huge single flowers up to 15cm across on stems 50-70cm tall, bloom mid to late season.
Single Late – cup or goblet-shaped flowers, some with multi-flowering stems bloom late season on plants 45-75cm tall.
Lily-Flowered – distinctly ‘narrow waisted’ flowers with pointed and reflexed petals, they are elegant and architectural.
Parrot – these are hardly recognizable as tulips, with their exotic-looking, fringed, ruffled and multi-coloured blooms.
Rembrandt – May-flowering varieties with unique flamed or streaked flowers in contrasting colours.
Fringed – named from their distinctive frayed petal edge, which can be the same or a contrasting colour to the rest of the flower, blooming mid to late season.
Double Late – large, bowl shaped double flowers up to 10cm across closely resemble peonies (which is why they are also known as peony tulips), 30-50cm tall.
Although these tulips appear at different times and with varying height and habit, when it comes to planting they all appreciate the same conditions. They need a sunny spot with good drainage – so if you have clay soil, add garden compost to break it up and introduce air to help water to drain away.
Plant in November – they don’t root until then and if you plant any earlier, you’ll risk them rotting in cold, wet soil.
Dig holes that are twice the width of each bulb, and up to three times the height depending on the variety – add a little horticultural grit to each hole to improve drainage. Leave enough space – about twice bulb width – between each bulb.
Cover the bulbs with soil and label them, to make sure you don’t plant something on top before they’ve had a chance to come through!
If you’d like tulips flowering in different months, you’ll get the best display by planting in groups of six or more of each type.
We have a great range of bulbs in-store now – so pop in and choose your own version of tulip heaven!