TULIP: Plant, maintain, divide, advice

Tulips, in the garden, do we dream of them classic or original?

Simple or more sophisticated tulips are one of those varieties of plants, those varieties of flowers that will never go out of fashion in the garden. We all have memories of tulips that we discovered in the family garden and in all the gardens in which we set foot and opened our eyes. Used by touch, a few bulbs here and there in association with other bulbous plants or planted in numbers, tulips are truly fascinating plants. They attract the eye: their long stems, fleshy, like the leaves also, of a pretty soft green, the flower raised towards the sky, with a simple or very sophisticated design: the petals curled, crumpled, cut, and all colors, all vibrant. This is undoubtedly the secret of its undisputed success!

Botanical name:


Type of plant

Type : Bulb perennial

Family : Liliaceae

Foliage : Obsolete

Rooting : Bulbous plant


• Resistance to cold: - 15 ° C provided the foot is protected in winter.


• From March to May (depending on the type of tulip cultivated)

Benefits to the garden

• Easy to grow
• Number of varieties, choice of shapes and colors
• Cut tulip flowers are perfect for a bouquet.

Description of Tulips

How to describe "the tulip"? It’s a flower we are all familiar with, at least for the most cultivated varieties. It has tender green foliage, whose leaves are fleshy, about 25 cm, 4 cm wide, tapered and pointed, they rise up to fall to the ground. The 25 to 40 cm stem is also fleshy, about 1 cm in diameter and at its top, the tulip flower: single or double, natural and well defined, close to the wild tulip, botanical tulip, mono, two-tone or even three-color, and of course all the varieties of creation.

Gardener's Info

Soil type: any type of soil, with a preference for fairly light, rich and possibly sandy soils.

Exhibition: Sun.

Watering: if necessary.

Floriferous : the tulip produces one flower per bulb.

Blooming tulips

• Spring : depending on the variety from late March to mid-May.

When to plant tulip bulbs?

• In autumn. Like many, the tulip is part of what are called fall bulbs, and is planted from late September to mid-December.

The gardener's advice:
• Tulips do not always have a long flowering time.
• To benefit from a longer flowering period in the garden, spread out the planting of the bulbs.

If luckily you have the opportunity to benefit from a large number of tulip bulbs, start planting them early in the season around mid-September, then every two weeks until mid-December. By doing this you can save between a week and 10 days of flowers! Be careful not to plant the most fragile varieties during the coldest periods; )!

How to plant tulip bulbs?

Tulips like humus-rich, well-drained soil that can be sandy.
For tall tulip varieties, choose an area sheltered from the wind, to keep the flower in its best condition.

• Dig the ground to the height of a spade fork
• Amend with potting soil, compost and sand in equal proportions
• Place the bulbs about 10-15 cm deep.
For the vast majority of bulbs, they should be planted at a depth equal to 3 times the height of the bulb.
• Fill and cover with potting soil and tamp down with the foot.
• Water moderately, without too much.
Think about the most fragile varieties. You can mulch the planting area. When the winter is mild and the first work in the garden is timely, you can remove the mulching!

Flowering tulips:

Tulips bloom in spring sooner or later depending on the region and the variety. The premieres usually from April. Flowering can last until July.

How to maintain them?

Low maintenance:
• In spring, if it is very dry, do not hesitate to water
• Wilted flowers should be cut before they go to seed
• Save the foliage that the bulb feeds on to flower the following year.
• Trim the foliage when it has dried well.

In cold regions:

Mulch the area where the bulbs are planted during the winter.

Every 3 years:

Divide the bulbs.

Multiplication of tulips.

• Rooting occurs with the development of the bulb.
• This should be done every 3 years. It is a simple operation which makes it possible to energize the plant which will regain a beautiful strength of development. By dividing, you mechanically get several bulbs in the garden!
> See in this image: how to divide the irises, it's the same principle.

When to divide them?

• Divide the bulbs therefore every 3 years, at the end of summer, or at the beginning of autumn, at the beginning of planting

Some varieties

• The botanical tulip, which are quite close to wild species bloom in March-April.
• The hasty tulip single or double in shape bloom at the same period in March-April.
• The Darwin tulips and Triumph tulips, are mid-season tulips whose flowers appear during April and last until May.
• The varieties of late tulips, single or double, including tulips " lily flower " and " parrot ' end the season, the flowers appear in end of April or even early May. Flowering lasts until June.
> There are over a hundred species and over 5,500 varieties of tulips.

Tulip categories

Early tulips: they are single flowering tulips, with a short stem - 20 cm - which bloom in late March and early April. Double-flowered tulips can also be found which feature a large number of petals at the top of a longer 30-40cm stem. They are more sensitive to cold, it is important to protect the bulbs and possibly not to grow them in very cold areas. They bloom from early to mid-April.

Tulip "triumph" : This is one of the most classic, created in 1923. The flower is cup-shaped, it blooms from the end of April and grows its flowers to 45 cm in height

Tulip Hybrids Darwin : Among the largest tulips (usually over two feet tall), these beauties, red and yellow in color, are usually the ones we see returning to gardens from May.

Late tulips : they are from Darwin hybrids. They are taller, 60 cm and bloom as the name suggests ... Later, in May. The late double tulips, 'tulipes peonies“, In bloom at the end of April - beginning of May, they are ideal in bouquet and of course in the garden in massive in groups in meadow.

Tulip with fleur-de-lis : This is a variety that flowers in May. Tall, 45 to 60 cm tall, beautiful and large oblong flowers, with twisted petals open to form a flower reminiscent of the Lily. They benefit from a long flowering period in May, they are also ideal indoors in a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers;

Fringed tulips (or crispa) : superb tulips with short flowering, they are very original, very aesthetic ...
Viridiflora: these flowers with brightly colored petals streaked with green grow in May. This group of tulips rises 30 to 60 cm in height
Greigii: another cultivar (15 to 24 cm) but a little less early (late March to early April). Its wavy foliage provides a sumptuous background with flowers erect at the end of their stems and blooming their generous flared petals.

Agrees with

• Cleomes, hollyhocks, gauras or grasses:
In a large garden, with large flowered areas, you can accentuate the country side of your garden by cultivating dahlias of a different color but of a fairly similar size, by interposing grasses in your beds. They will bring a touch of lightness and their golden color will contrast with the green of the foliage of the dahlias and the "sparkling" colors of their flowers. It's up to you!

With or without a garden ...

In the garden : in border, in solid mass, in rockery more particularly for the smallest varieties.

Without garden : in a pot, or in a planter, in a bouquet of cut flowers,

We recap

• Perennial but some variety sensitive to cold

• Flowering: from the end of March to May.

• Color: all single color or bi-color.

• Type of soil: Rich, light, draining.

• Planting: fall bulbs to be planted from September to mid-December.

• Maintenance: around June, after flowering, cut the stems. Do not cut the foliage until it is dry.

• Use: sun bed, border, in pots for dwarf varieties. A place protected from the wind for tall varieties, it is not mandatory but it is better so that the flower does not get damaged.

• Culture in pots: in an average pot of 30 cm or in a planter.

Quick sheet:


With its graphic, clean lines and unexpected colors, pennisetum has established itself as one of the stars of grasses to plant. It will come to decorate all types of gardens (zen, minimalist, country) and will also flourish in pots. Robust, it is very easy to maintain. Our advice for planting and maintaining it!

  • Scientific name : Pennisetum
  • Family : Poaceae
  • Varieties : Pennisetum compressum, Pennisetum alopecuroides, Pennisetum setaceum, Oriental pennisetum, Pennisetum villosum
  • Flower color : white flowers, pink flowers, golden flowers
  • Planting : spring or autumn
  • Exposure : sun, partial shade
  • Soil type : all types of soil. Preference for wet soils
  • use : in pots, in the ground, in beds
  • Flowering : Flowering in July, flowering in August, flowering in September, flowering in October, flowering in November
  • Foliage : obsolete
  • Watering : low
  • Growth : fast
  • Longevity : perennial cultivated as an annual
  • Height : 0.5 to 1.5 meters.

There are more than 80 species of this ornamental grass native to tropical and warm temperate regions: you will therefore have a wide choice of colors! The pennisetum will bring a wild and zen touch to your garden, very relaxing to watch when its fluffy spikes are rocked by the wind.

Appreciated for its elegance and resistance, this grass is also called "swab grasss ", because of its inflorescence in the form of a small brush. It flowers in summer and depending on the species the flowering can last until winter. Once the cold season arrives, it dries up and its tufts remain very decorative.

The pennisetum will elegantly complement your fresh or dry bouquets. Its name comes from Latin: "penna" for feather and "seta" for "silk".

When to divide the spring bulbs?

The rule of thumb with bulbs is not to touch them until the leaves have wilted and turned well yellow. Generally, after a spring flowering in February-March, of narcissus, tulip, grape hyacinth or hyacinth for example, it is sometimes necessary to wait until the end of May to the beginning of June for the foliage to spread out on the ground with a golden color.

It then begins its period of "dormancy" which is not really one since in reality the bulb matures and prepares its future flower buds. Indeed, the bulb is a reserve organ, fleshy, swollen, accumulating nutrients. Anyway, the time is right for an intervention to divide the bulbs.

Even though all of these bulbs tend to naturalize, that is, to spread more and more, it is best to divide the bulbs every 3 or 4 years in order to rejuvenate the feet.

The followers of gardening with the moon will look at the lunar calendar to intervene a "flower" day in the waning moon.

How much water do I need for a bouquet of tulips?

Your bouquet of tulips will be placed in a vase. Whether it's opaque or transparent, it doesn't matter. However, the latter must be quite high so that your flowers do not sag. Also saving you from cutting half of the stem. My Garden & My House recommend that you have between 5 and 8 cm of water in the bottom of your vase. It will have to be changed regularly : tulips like itclean fresh water (not cold). Tap water is fine for them, although rainwater is preferable because it is non-calcareous.

Hybrid tulips

Single early tulips

Oval flowers (6 to 8 cm) weather resistant. Early, these tulips are perfect for forcing.

Double early tulips

Very double flowers, opening flat in full sun.

Triumph Tulips

Oval flowers, 10 to 12 cm in diameter, resistant to bad weather. Large range of colors.

Single late tulips

Also called "long-stemmed tulips". Globular flowers with various colors.

Hybrid Darwin Tulips

The largest flowers among tulips, borne by strong, rigid stems.

Tulips with fleur-de-lis

Very recognizable by its large flowers opening like a star in the sun.

Fringed tulips, lace tulips

Petals edged with crystalline fringe. Elegant, they are long lasting in vase.

Tulipa viridiflora
Height: 40 to 60 cm. Flowering: may's beginning

More or less colored petals, marked with green.

Rembrandt tulips

Variegated, zebra or flamed flowers.

Parrot Tulips

They owe their name to the variegation and carving of the flower petals, which, bicoloured or united, generally have a green macule at their base.

Peony flower tulips

These double, round and opulent flowers evoke those of the peony.

Tulips in pots: how to water them?

Tulips don't ask not a lot of maintenance. On the other hand, watering must be well dosed. In fact, tulips don't like excess water. They should therefore be water regularly, without going overboard. Because tulips can't stand thebackwater, better to install a drainage system at the bottom of the pot. When you observe the dry land, it is time to water it using rainwater or filtered.

For growing in the ground (planting in October-December)

  • Check that the earth is worked to at least 10 cm deep. You can add a long-lasting fertilizer (a good handful per m2)
  • Use a bulb dibber (graduated). The ideal depth for planting a tulip bulb is 10 cm.
  • Make a hole and place the bulb at the bottom, point up.
  • Close the hole with the extracted soil.
  • Count 10 cm between each bulb (which corresponds to a dibble).
Tulips appreciate the sun or partial shade.

Originally, the tulip grew only at the foot of the Himalayas. However, the region was under Ottoman rule, so the tulip reached the Turkish sultan as an offering and became the emblem of the empire.

Its trade was forbidden until the 16th century when foreign visitors heard about this flower whose fame spread throughout Europe. Conrad Gesner (Swiss naturalist) and Clusius (Flemish doctor and botanist) are at the origin of the crosses of different varieties which very quickly dress the royal gardens. In France, LouisВ XIV even made the tulip the official flower of the Court.

The flower was so successful that the price of its bulbs in the 17th century became exorbitant. This is called В "В tulipomaniaВ В" or В "В tulip crisisВ В".

In the language of flowers, the tulip has many meanings depending on its color:

  • The yellow tulip symbolizes amorous despair.
  • The red tulip embodies eternal love.
  • The variegated tulip meansВ: В "В you have magnificent eyesВ В".

Nowadays, the tulip is one of the first world cultures both in bulbs and in cut flowers.

Video: Tips and tricks Tulips

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