Tulips are the spring flower. I love them truly but I favor the tulips that have character where flowers nontraditional. The pedals are out of the ordinary shapes, patterns and textures or variegated leaves. I just smile and feel excited about spring and the warm weather, besides what garden wouldn’t love unusual flowers?

I would like to share with you some of the uncommon tulips, when it blooms early, mid or late spring. Some tips on how to care for healthy tulips and where you can purchase them on line!

Parrot-flowered tulip is one my favorite because of the texture, and colored mixture. These flowers height are from 18” to 24”. These have sturdy stems to hold the large flower but you do want to be careful of windy places. These Parrot flower is a late spring bloomer.

They are wonderful because you can get an assortment of colors. This spring blooming flower is sure to steal garden show. I would plant something subtle by this tulip so it does not look too busy. Zones 4-7

Fringed Petal tulips are very delightful as well and I love them because they seem so delicate.

They bloom mid to late spring and can get 16” to 18” tall. Zones 3-8. There are so many colors to choose from as well. I would almost put another white spring blooming flower next to these beauties-Lily of the Valley.

Although this is not a tulip it is a bulb as well and it blooms at the same time as our tulips from early to mid spring. It is a bit shorter 6-12” in height and a much larger leaf. The contrast would be nice. Zone 3-8
Lily flowered tulips are very unique and beautiful. I love the sharp pointy edge. It is so very elegant so slender and long. You can get this sophisticated flower in just about any color including a few bi colors.


This has a bloom time of mid to late spring so it can bridge the gap in bloom times with other tulips. These stunning beauties get 18-20” tall and are for zones 3-8.

 

Green tulips – Green is my favorite color but these tulips are absolutely sensational.These flowers can last up to three weeks in the garden. I would plant in groups of five or more because they will make much more of an impact. These are 16-18” tall and that makes them show up where ever you plant them. This variety of flower is a late bloomer and comes in many colors. Suited for zones 3-8.

The pedal packed tulips are like a peony or double flowered. This cultivar is very stunning and will stand out from most blooms. These will bloom early spring and even though they are shorter ranging from 14-16” tall, they will have double the pedals. Suited for zones 3-7.

I am excited to order and plant some of these unusual and lovely tulips for my garden and I hope you are too. Here are the mail order sources to get these tulips or perhaps you will see others that you will find lovely in your garden.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com
John Scheepers, Inc.www.johnscheepers.com
Blooming Bulb www.bloomingbulb.com

Now tips growing outstanding tulips. Buy healthy bulbs that look smooth and feel firm. Its ok if they’re missing heir papery tunics.
Beware if you see blue-gray mold on the surface. Try wiping off. If you can, it’s fine to plant. If not, don’t choose it.


Pass if the there are round or irregular shape discolored spots could be fusarium, a fungal disease. Leave this bulb behind.

Planting – plant bulbs in fall in well drained soil that’s rich in organic matter, usually just after the first frost. Site them where they’ll get full sun in spring, and the soil will be relatively dry in the summer.

Plantings Depth – Dig holes 4 to 6 inches deep and apart for small tulips, 8 to 10 inches deep and apart for large tulips. If you mulch remember that you can count the mulch as part of the bulbs planting depth.

To plant just a few bulbs, a trowel or hand-held planter is fine. If you have lots to plant, a long handled bulb planter or bulb auger will make the work go more quickly. Water immediately and, if the weather is dry, water weekly until the ground freezes.

Provide nutrients – Scratch a bulb fertilizer with an analysis of 9-9-6 or 5-10-12 into the first few inches of the soil after planting. In spring, top-dress with compost or sprinkle on a little granular 10-10-10 just as perennials start to emerge.

After the flowers finish, leave the foliage on the plant until it starts to turn yellow, this will help the bulb make its own food for next year.

Enjoy spring planting and enjoy spring every year after.