Tulips are members of the lily family, and flower from March-May.

They can range in height from 100-600mm (4"-24") depending on variety.

Tulips require a cold winter season to grow successfully making them unsuitable for growing in tropical climates.

The species generally come from hot and dry areas, so it may be necessary to lift and clean bulbs annually, particularly in areas with heavy soils and high rainfall.

Manipulation of the tulip's growing temperature can allow growers to force tulips to flower earlier than they normally would.

Tulips are classified as per the following divisions:

  • Div 1 - Single Early

  • Div 2 - Double Early

  • Div 3 - Mendel

  • Div 4 - Triumph

  • Div 5 - Darwin Hybrids

  • Div 6 - Darwin

  • Div 7 - Lily Flowered

  • Div 8 - Cottage
  • Div 9 - Rembrandt

  • Div 10 - Parrot

  • Div 11 - Double Late

  • Div 12 - Tulips mainly derived from the species T. kaujmanniana

  • Div 13 - Tulips mainly derived from the species T. fosteriana

  • Div 14 - Tulips mainly derived from the species T.greigii

  • Div 15 - Species

Outdoor Cultivation

Earlier plantings may expose them to late frosts when they emerge.

If the soil is acidic, apply 75-100gms (3-4 oz) of ground limestone per sq. metre just before planting.

Do not plant deeper than 150mm on heavy soils.

Prior to planting dust dried bulbs with sulphur to minimise the chances of fungal attack such as tulip fire.

Pot cultivation allows manipulation of growing conditions and consequently flowering times.

During winter keep the compost in containers moist to dry and water well once the shoots appear.

Week 8:

Fetch bowls/containers indoors to induce early flowering.

Deadhead, as the first petals fall, leaving the stems and leaves to feed the bulbs, ideally lift the bulbs when the leaves are turning yellow.

Tulip plants leave a disease as they die off in late spring so it is important to remove the flower petals as they fall.

Circa Week 20:

Cut off the plants at ground level when they have turned yellow.

Alternatively, bulbs can be lifted when the foliage turns yellow and stored in trays of dry sand in a dry place at circa 18°C (65°F) until planting time.

Prior to storing remove the offsets / bulbils.

Week 21:

Propagate tulips by removing offsets / bulbils from mature bulbs, which can then be placed in a nursery bed until they reach flowering size.

Species tulips readily produce seed which, if sown fresh, will develop into flowering-size bulbs in five to seven years.

When plants are in bud, keep a look out slugs and aphids as these can damage the buds.

Week 27:

Check over bulbs, discard any that may have rotted.

Indoor cultivation:

Add a sprinkling of lime into the bulb fibre prior to filling the bowl/s.

Periodically check the plants to ensure the fibre is moist, and water as necessary.

The bulbs will need liberal watering during this latter period.


Aladdin's Record
Angel's Wish
Black Hero

Garden Variety
Garden Variety
Garden Variety
Garden Variety

Garden Variety
Garden Variety
Garden Variety
Garden Variety

Garden Variety
Garden Variety
Parrot Variety

Parrot Variety
Spring Green

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