Originally from Persia and Turkey, tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century. By the 17th century, these flowers exploded with popularity, especially in the Netherlands. Each color of tulip is said to carry a distinct meaning. Yellow tulips are thought to symbolize cheerful thoughts, white conveys forgiveness, purple is for royalty, and red is for your perfect love. Tulips are a favorite spring flower for many people across North America and Europe. These flowers do well in beds and borders and make the best cut flowers as they open and bloom fully. If you are thinking about planting your tulips for the spring, it is time to do it now. Let’s take a look at the variety of tulips and how you can plant these bulbs.
Choosing a Variety
Tulip flowers may be single, double, ruffled, fringed, or lily-shaped, depending on the variety of flower you choose. Wild tulips are small in size and range in height from three to eight inches. They are a tougher variety than hybrids and bloom in the South. The Triumph hybrid tulips are the classic single cup-shaped flowers that make up the largest grouping of types. The cracker tulip is a mid-spring bloomer and comes in purple, pink, and lilac petals. The Ile de France flower is a midseason bloomer and has an intense red bloom with a 20-inch stem. The final bloom is the Calgary. It is a mid-spring bloomer with snow-white petals and blue-green foliage.
Planting Your Tulips
Tulips come in a bulb form, which are the seeds, so it is important for you to plant them as soon as they are purchased so they can start to grow. They should be planted in the fall, about six to eight weeks before a hard frost is expected and when the soil is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Tulips prefer a place with full or afternoon sun. They do not like to be excessively moist so make sure it is a place that is well drained of water and dry. If you live in a wet area, never deliberately water a bulb bed and put down some shredded pine bark or sand to soak up moisture. Space your bulbs about four to six inches apart. You should plant your bulbs at least eight inches in the ground measuring from the base of the bulb. Set the bulb into the hole with the pointed end up and cover with soil, pressing firmly. You can water the bulb before planting. They do not need food as bulbs have a complete storage system that contains all of the nutrients they need for one year.
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