Tulip Flowers – Everything You Need to Know About Tulips

Tulip Flowers – Introduction

Tulip flowers are a staple in many American and Canadian home gardens. Their variety of pleasing colors, ease of growth and maintenance, and tendency to be some of the first blooms of the year all contribute towards making them some of the most popular plants in the world.

Tulip flowers are synonymous with spring in many temperate regions in both North American and Europe. Along with daffodils and crocuses, tulip flowers are one of the first signs of life after the long cold dark of winter. This grants them a certain symbolism of life that is hard to ignore when selecting them for your garden or as decorations in the home.

Tulip flowers are originally native to Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Their popularity is not limited to the west, as can be evidenced by their inclusion on the national flag of Iran.
They are widely cultivated in many nations, and are commonly found decorating government buildings and important public sites like parks and community centers.

Tulip flowers come in several prominent colors. You may be most familiar with the red and yellow varieties, which are commonly spotted in gardens throughout the country. Less common varieties include vibrant purples and peaceful pinks, orange, white and even multi-color blends. This assortment makes for great potential in mixing and matching while you garden.

Tulip Flowers – More Facts and History

Tulip flowers get their name from “tülbend,” the Turkish word for gauze. This was because the tulip flowers were said to resemble a turban when fully opened, and it was common to wrap turbans in a sort of gauze. The word underwent transformations through Latin and early English to become what we use today.

Tulips cannot be grown in tropical climates, due to a requirement for a cold winter season to grow successfully. Manipulation of the tulip’s growing temperature can allow growers to force tulip flowers to appear earlier, but this is not really a viable strategy. As such, this bulbous plant is not seen in most of the southern hemisphere.

An interesting historical fact stems from the popularity and association of tulip flowers with Holland. This relates directly to Canada in a tradition that has lasted since the end of the Second World War. In thanks for Canada’s major role in the liberation of Holland from Nazi occupation, the Dutch government presents the Canadian government with a large number of tulip bulbs each year.

These are planted around the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, and in public parks and displays throughout the city.

Tulip Flowers – Gardening Tips

Tulip flowers make great additions to any backyard or front yard garden. Their vibrant and cheerful colors herald the dawn of spring and are chiefly responsible for soaring good moods amongst many in the population. Before planting tulips in your garden, there are some technical details you should be made aware of.

Tulips are a bulb plant. This means that you don’t plant seeds – instead you plant a bulb that looks much like a small onion. This is part of the structure of an older plant, and has been split off from the parent so that it can be planted elsewhere. When planting the bulbs, you must do so in the autumn prior to the year in which you wish to see the plants flower.

Don’t worry about harm coming to them over the winter. In fact, they rely on a cold winter to kick start the growth cycle. The drastic change in temperatures is what helps signal the bulb that it’s time to begin growth. This is common amongst many bulb plants, including onions, which are a great late/early crop to plant in between others.

It is wise not to group them too closely together, as they will end up vying for space in the soil once they mature. A bit of distance is appropriate, and usually around 2-3 inches should suffice. Some creative suggestions include staggering the bulbs so that they will sprout in a pattern. You can determine the color that will result when you buy the bulbs, meaning you could easily plan a line of alternating colors.

By mixing tulip flowers with their other early counterparts, daffodils and crocuses, you can successfully have a full garden very early in the year. This is great for shaking off the winter blues, and perfect for making the neighbors envious of your gardening savvy.

Tulip Flowers- Conclusion

As you can see, tulip flowers make a wonderful addition to your garden. They also make great gifts. A bouquet of fresh-cut blooms from your garden is a good way to say thanks to a friend for a favor, or as an act of general friendship and kindness to a neighbor or family member. You can also arrange for delivery of tulip bouquets from most florists, should you not wish to harvest them from your garden.

Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist

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