The main ‘rule’ with tulips is that you can never have too many tulips!
They are an absolute garden essential. They are one of the simplest plants to grow, just stick the bulb in the ground (pointy end up) in the autumn and wait for the spring.
There are so many types to choose from so which are the best performers?
Well as a general rule we prefer the simpler shapes, because not only do they look really elegant, the flower heads aren’t too heavy and droop after a spring shower.
Many gardening books state that you need to replace your tulips every year to keep the display looking amazing. Well we don’t really agree with that – it’s expensive! The tulips should keep flowering for several years, but what you tend to find is that the flower heads get a little smaller, but they are still as pretty, just not as big.
The two pictures here are of 5 year old tulips from my garden.
If you want to get a good display each year without having to replace the bulbs (unless you want to of course):
- Initially plant the bulbs deep 10cms and no cheating – it will help them to flower.
- When the petals have fallen off, snap the seed head off the top to stop it using energy making seeds.
- Cut the finished flower stem off at the first set of leaves, but don’t remove the leaves.
- Only remove the leaves once they are really yellow.
- Lastly when planting, have a theme for your bulbs, so mix a 2-3 colours or use a similar colour but mix the shapes heights and flowering times.
- When we say more is better, we only mean it if you haven’t bunged in a kaleidoscope of every colour of the rainbow in one place.
Tulips are elegant plant diva’s, give them a place in the sun, plants to show off against and you will have a display to be proud of.
Lastly, please no regimented straight line planting of bulbs, it looks awful a natural style is definitely best!