For my first experiment I found myself in our local Costco and picked up this beautiful planter full of half grown tulips – I had purchase a bunch of other plants to work with, but the weather has just been too cold to start my spring planting. I have never received tulips, only have bought them for my grandmother on special occasions – I am not too well verses with flowers yet but I believe we are off to a basic start. Everyone knows what a tulip is… right?
Although tulips are often associated with The Netherlands, commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Ottoman Empire. The tulip, or lale (fromPersian لاله, lâleh) as it is also called in Iran and Turkey, is a flower indigenous to a vast area encompassing parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The wordtulip, which earlier appeared in English in forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish tülbend (“muslin” or “gauze”), and is ultimately derived from Persian dulband (“turban”).
Tip for Planting Tulips (via gardeningtips.org)
- If you are planting other bedding plants amongst tulips; it is a good idea to plant them before the bulbs, so as not to damage the bulbs with the trowel later.
- Sandy soil is best for Tulips (or any bulb) to increase and flower in later years. Good Drainage is essential. For best results plant bulbs in October or November. As a rule of thumb, the depth that tulips should be planted is approximately three times the length of the bulb.
- Tulips are very disease resistant; however can be troubled by “Tulip Fire”. Stems and leaves of plants become deformed and stunted. Later they will display brown patches. If this occurs bulbs should be destroyed.
- Over crowded bulbs can also cause problems in your garden. If this occurs, dig up your tulips just before all the foliage has completely died down and divide by pulling smaller new bulbs from the base of the old bulb and replant them.
- After flowering, it is ok to deadhead your tulips but always allow the leaves to die off naturally. If you are concerned about the appearance of the fading greens, try braiding the leaves.
- Tulips make excellent cut flowers and usually last about a week in a vase. Don’t forget to add a little sugar to your water to prolong the life of your bouquet.