Tulips or Tulipa is a genus of herbaceous, bulbiferous perennial flower crop in Liliaceae family that you can grow in your garden. In Persian, the word “Turban” is called “Tulip” and the flower shape of tulips resembles Persian turbans. Hence, it was names tulip by Persian discoverers.
People started growing tulips in Persia, which is present day Iran. During rule of Ottoman Empire, Tulip was their symbol. At present there are more than 4000 varieties of tulips that shows a wide range of flower colour except true blue colour.
The flower became popular in Turkey, where it was used in ornamental gardens and as a symbol of wealth and prestige. Tulips were introduced to Europe in the 16th century when they were brought to the Netherlands from the Ottoman Empire. The flower quickly became popular among the Dutch, and a tulip craze began.
At the height of the craze, rare tulip bulbs were selling for prices that were equivalent to a small house or a ship. At present, tulips are useful in beautification of a garden, therefore garden designer finds them really useful. To grow this beautiful bulbous plant follow these guidelines carefully.
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When & How To Plant Tulip Bulbs?
When To Plant: September to December is the best time to plant tulips. Plant them during September to October if you are living in cold temperate regions. But, in warm tropical regions, plant them from November to December.
Potting Mix: Prepare potting mix with 40% cocopeat + 40% organic manure + 20% perlite. Mix them well and pour this mixture into 8 to 10 inches earthen pots with drainage holes at the bottom. Also mix 1 teaspoon SAAF fungicide powder in this potting mix to protect bulbs from fungal diseases.
How To Plant: To plant tulip bulbs, keep the pointed end upwards, and cover bulbs with 6 inches layer of potting mix. Make sure to maintain at least 3 inches distance between two bulbs. Apply water soon after planting your bulbs. You should apply water once after every week for a month, then resume water once leaves emerges from the bulbs in spring.
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How To Grow & Care For Tulips?
Follow these guidelines to grow & care for tulip flowering plant.
- Climate: Tulip plant grows well in cool temperate climate. However, you can also grow them in warm tropical climates.
- USDA Zones: You can grow them easily in USDA Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9.
- Sunlight: They love bright direct to indirect sublight through out the day. For getting larger blooms keep them under direct sunlight.
- Watering: Do not overwater; avoid watering over bulbs as it can cause fungal disease. Apply water on the soil around the bulb with the help of a gardening hose whenever the top 1 to 2 inches layer of soil becomes completely dry. Keep the soil little moist but not soggy.
- Fertilizers: Once shoots start emerging in spring season, start feeding tulip plant. Use organic fertilizer such as bonemeal, onion peel or banana peel fertilizer to promote flowering in the plant. Along with them apply a handful of bulky organic compost such as vermicompost or dung manure. You can also spray 1 grams of NPK (0:0:60) dissolved in 1 litre of water once after every 20 days to promote flowering in the plant.
- Deadheading: Keep removing old & spent flowers from the plant to promote new flowers.
- Pests & Diseases: Pests such as slugs & snails, aphids, mice, nematodes, etc. can damage your plant. To protect plant from bulb rot, avoid overwatering or wetting bulbs consistently. Avoid wetting foliage parts to protect tulip plant from gray mould fungal disease.
FAQ On Tulips
Do tulips need sun?
Yes, direct sunlight promotes foliage & flowering growth, but tulip plants can also grow in indirect sunlight. However, flower size would be smaller.
What to plant with tulips?
You can grow Crocus, Grape hyacinth, Daffodil, Pansy, Snapdragon, Zinnia, Nasturtium, marigold etc. with tulips, as they are perfect companion plants.
What to do after tulips bloom?
Once tulips stop blooming, let the foliage die naturally, then you can take out and store bulbs for planting in the next season.
What colours do tulips come in?
Tulips come in wide range of flower colours usually having shades of white, red, pink & yellow except blue.
what month do tulips bloom?
Generally, tulips bloom from March to April.