Some of the most widely grown ornamental bulbs in the UK are Tulip Bulbs. With fantastic flowers it is a popular bulb in gardens around the world and readily available for sale from online suppliers. Often associated with Holland these bulbs are originally from Turkey and Iran.
Tulips were taken to Amsterdam in the 1500s, where they were hybridised to become the popular flower they are today. Bulbs, potted plants and cut flowers are all available to buy both online and from retail outlets and florists.
- Triump tulips are a medium stemmed single flowering cultivar, they flower mid season and make a great cut flower.
- Darwin hybrids are a longer stemmed variety again flowering mid season.
- Parrot tulips have attractive slightly curled petals and are a late flowering variety. And off couse we have doubles as well.
- Many species are also available and these seem to be overlooked for the home garden. They are often easier to grow and
Tulip turkestanica, Tulip kaufmanniana, Tulip humilis, Tulip sprengeri and Tulip Bataliniiare all worth buying for their unique characteristics
The best time to plant tulips is in late autumn to early winter, the soil still has a little warmth and bulbs are in before the frosts. Remember a well drained position otherwise they may rot. And as for spacing, try around 7cm between bulbs, this gives a compact display as well as room for the bulbs to grow.
If you miss the planting window you can always buy some potted tulips and plant them out after flowering.
Care of tulip bulbs and growing notes
Generally speaking the tulip bulbs that we buy are fairly tough, a well drained soil lots of sun, plant about 15 - 20 cm deep, depending on bulb size. If you dig tulip bulbs and store them in a cool dry place after the foliage has died down they will last longer.
Tulips make excellent cut flowers ( a little sugar in the water will make blooms last longer). Chilling tulip bulbs for approx 7 weeks will ensure long flower stems. A soil rich in humus is best for tulip b ulbs, so dig in well rotted manure.
Digging Tulip Bulbs
Why do we need to dig Tulip bulbs each year and store them ? Tulips come from a climate of try hot summers and cold winters, if you have really good drainage maybe you can get away with leaving them in over summer, however flower size and quality tends to diminish. Chilling tulip bulbs for approx 7 weeks will ensure nice long flower stems.
- Tulip flowers look fantastic when bulbs are planted in groups of 15 - 20 and naturalised into the lawn. They are also suitable for growing in pots and always look good in the border. With new varieties available each year make you will be able to find a range of colors to suit any garden.
- A mass planting will supply you with flowers for picking, the question is when to pick them.
- The right time to pick tulips for cut flowers is when the flower head has reached full colour, but has not yet opened.
Tulips are available for sale from the following nurseries
MINIATURE BULBS & WILDFLOWER BULBS - Phone/Fax: 01423 542819
9 Greengate Drive, Knaresborough, HG5 9EN
Tulipa - A wide range of dwarf growing tulipa in exciting colours which can flower from March to May. Suitable for pots, rockery or garden. Many are rare. Mail order spring bulb specialists.
BROADLEIGH GARDENS- Phone: 01823 286231 Fax:01823 323646
Bishops Hull Taunton TA4 1AE
Includes: Species Tulips, Lily Flowered Tulips and others. Mail order bulb specialists Tulips, Crocus, Narcissus, Iris, Colchicum, Lilium, Scilla and more.