Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tulip Bulbs


By: Chris And Aliso Clarke
Word Count: 605

Tulip bulbs originate from Europe. Asia and the Middle East and there are over one hundred species.

Genus; Tulipa (from the Turkish tulbend, a turban, in allusion to the shape of the flowers: or from the Persian thoulyban)

Family: Liliaceae

The Tulip is one of the most brilliant blooms for the flower garden during the spring and early summer months.

They are mostly single-flowered, but it is not unusual to find individual plants in large collections sometimes with three to five flowers on one stem.

They should be grown in as large quantities as space will allow. Tulip bulbs can be purchased by the hundred nowadays, without breaking your bank.

The individual blooms last a long time in perfection, and make an ideal cut flower for indoor displays.

They are always best cut either in the evening before dusk or early in the morning before the sun causes the petals to expand.

Tulips flourish in any fertile and well-drained soil.

You should plant the Tulip bulbs 10cm (4inches) to 15cm (6inches) deep and the same distance apart from each other.

The best time for planting, in the UK, is from the end of August to November (late autumn to early winter).

Make the holes with a blunt dibber or trowel, or dig out drills, plant the bulbs and recover with soil.

Although a patch of mixed Tulips looks handsome enough, it is on the whole better to keep each variety by itself.

Some varieties have long stems and some short, and if planted together the result will be uneven and definitely unsatisfactory.

Two or even three kinds can be used in the same planting, but you will need to make sure the tallest are planted at the back.

Warm open airy and sunny positions are ideal, but they must be sheltered from violent winds.

Some varieties can be grown in partial shade.

They should never be planted under trees or shrubs, near walls or in any deep shade.

For dazzling spring and early summer displays grow them with spring flowering plants, such as Forget-me-nots, Polyanthus, Wallflowers, Double white Arabis, Yellow Alyssum, Aubrietias, Primroses, mossy Saxifrages, Pansies and Violas.

Grown in patio pots and tubs they make an excellent spring display. They are also ideal in window boxes where they can be seen from the inside, especially kitchen windows or other windows of rooms you spend a lot of time in. They will brighten up any spring day!

Tulip bulbs are easily propagated from offsets which are simply detached from the parent bulb and planted as soon as possible in to pots where they will be ready to plant out next season.

Tulip bulbs that are planted in autumn are not the same bulbs which are lifted the following June or July.

The original bulb vanishes in producing leaves, flowers, next year's bulb and offsets.

The next year's bulb is usually fully formed, with roots of it's own, by the time its parent begins to flower. From its side is produced a smaller bulb or offset.

Tulip bulbs can be left in the ground for two or more years and can be planted overhead with annuals such as China Asters, French and African Marigolds, Clarkias, Gaillardias and many others.

But it is best to lift the bulbs every year after flowering. They should be cleaned and stored on dry shelves in cool places free from damp and frosts. They will be ready for planting next August/September.

And don't forget to plant out the offsets you potted last year. More plants free for life!

Chris and Alison are successful and experienced gardeners specializing in plant propagation. For all the information you need on propagating and growing your favorite gardening plants successfully visit

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