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Lets Grow Some Tulips

Take a journey with me...

I find it so helpful to have a glimpse into how a farmer is growing my food, and I think the same importance exists for flower farmers and their clients. Plus.... learn a little to have successful tu

Let's start at the beginning.

Tulips are a flower grown from a bulb. These bulbs contain all the nutrients they need and even have their flower stored inside from the previous growing season. Tulips do need two things to grow successfully, cold treatment, which is usually given to tulips by placing them in the soil in the fall, and roots to drink water. Tulips can be given this cold treatment out of the ground as well. More about this in week 3.

One misnomer is that tulips are perennials. Have you ever planted tulips and noticed that every year you have fewer flowers or no flowers at all? This is because, unfortunately, we do not have the appropriate growing environment to perennialize most tulip varieties. And sadly, very few places in the world do have adequate conditions to perennialize and propagate tulips. There is a reason Holland is known for its tulip festivals. The result is that as a flower farmer, tulips are grown as annuals. We must bring in new tulip bulbs every year. Each of those bulbs will only produce one flower, and with their high dollar and expensive shipping costs, they are a flower that comes with a high price.


Tulip Types It is overwhelming the number of tulip varieties that exist. Even as a flower farmer, I, too, find it overwhelming, but the vast options are what make them exciting. There are 13 primary groups of tulips.

Single Early Single cup-shaped flowers, some of the earliest to flower

Double Early Double, peony-like flowers on short-stemmed, early-flowering

Triumph Single-flowered with stems of medium height, flowering in mid-season (most commonly sold in grocery stores)

Darwin Huge goblet-like single flowers, long-stemmed, flowering in mid-season