Tulips may not be on the top of everyone’s wish list but they certainly are on mine! With at least 100 species, they offer so much variety and when selected carefully, you can get blooms from March right through to May. Whilst tulips flower in spring, they flower at different times, so you can extend the flowering season by selecting your varieties carefully.
November is the ideal time to plant your tulip bulbs ready for a magnificent spring display. What I admire most about tulip plants is that they are incredibly versatile! They make beautiful bedding plants as well as cut flowers! There is a ‘tip’ spreading round the office like the plague that once cut, if you prick the stem just beneath the flower where the seeds form, you will stop the leaves falling off and prolong the bloom. I’m sceptical but I am going to give it go!
Tulip bulbs will grow in any moist and well drained soil, except particularly wet soils. Plant them in a sunny position that is sheltered from strong winds and when planting, avoid shallow planting as this may reduce the winter cold period that is essential for tulip bulbs to produce flowers in spring. Plant them at a depth of 15cm (6″) and at a distance of 13cm (5″) apart. Once your tulips have flowered, deadhead the faded tulip flowers and allow the foliage to die back completely before removing it in summer.
I particularly love the new tulip varieties such as ‘Mixed Parrot’. They look so exotic that you may not even recognise it as a tulip! They will certainly jazz up and add excitement to any garden beds with their ruffled blooms and intriguing colour.
A firm customer favourite is Tulip ‘Silver Parrot’. It has proved so popular that we are actually out of stock, but hopefully will be back soon. But, too good not to share with you, the magnificent rosy pink blooms actually reach up to 20cm across!
Let us know what Tulips you are growing and why you love them!
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.