Colorful Tulips

Tulips, a flower most commonly associated with Holland, are actually not native to this country. To many peoples surprise, tulips are found to be native to Central Asia and the Middle East. They are perennial plants that have over 100 species in the genus Tulipa. They are housed under the family Liliaceae, just like lilies.

Tulips are an easy to grow, spring blooming flower that is divided into 3 categories: early flowering tulips, midseason flowering tulips and late flowering tulips. Plant tulip bulbs in the fall (around October), 4-8 inches deep and in well-draining soil. Sandy soil works well, but there is also the option to add course sand or mulch to regular soil to make it lighter and more airy for good drainage. Plant them in a sunny location and keep the soil moist, but not soaked, after planting. Lastly, keep an eye out for small animals around your tulips. Squirrels, rabbits and other small creatures will dig up the tulip bulbs and eat them if the flowers are not protected.

Once tulips start to die, remove the flower heads only. Leaving the stems in the ground feeds the bulbs nutrients and helps the flowers grow back the following year. If you want to use your tulips as cut flowers indoors, follow these simple steps. First, remove any foliage that would be immersed in the water. Then, cut off the white part of the stem to encourage the tulip to drink more water. Trim the stems every 4-5 days to help the flower to continue drinking. Lastly, make sure the water is always kept fresh and clean. Sometimes, adding a little sugar to the water helps to keep the tulips vibrant.

Overtime, florists have found the tulip to be a popular cut flower for single flower type arrangements or for mixed bouquets. Though the tulip is known for its meaning of love, the color of the tulips defines the type of love intended to be evoked. Red tulips are a romantic love, while yellow tulips represent both unrequited love and happiness. Coming in every color except blue, they are the perfect flower for any occasion.