Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
It’s hard to resist tulips. Symbolic of spring, these delightful flowers bring us out of our winter doldrums.
Cut tulip stems are available for about half of the year commercially. But, the peak season is really from late winter through the early spring. Tulip stems have a vase life of about a week.
Don’t be alarmed if tulip stems start to bend towards the light. This is normal.
The one thing to keep in mind when working with tulip stems is that they can be damaged by the fresh sap from daffodils. Condition the stems of these two separately so this doesn’t happen.
Tulip stems are used as a mass flower, particularly for bouquets. These are often used in Ikebana and other Asian-type designs.
Depending on the variety, tulips may be single or double. The height varies as well. Medium to tall ones are preferred for most floral arrangements.
Tulips come in about every color imaginable. Often, a mix of different colors are preferred for floral designs.
Last fall, a number of new tulip bulb varieties were introduced for the first time. These should be available as cut flowers, and are especially suitable for cutting gardens.
Despite its name, Tulip Christmas Sweet blooms naturally outdoors in March and April. This features white flowering blossoms that are traditionally egg-shaped. These would be suitable for elegant bouquets. There is a slight pinkish tinge to the white petals. Nearly 1˝ feet in height, these are borne on sturdy, erect stems.
Tulip Monte Beau has exquisite lemon-colored petals that are fully double. The intriguing thing about these flowers is the broad band of white edging the petals. These appear on tall, sturdy stems that are easy to work with. This tulip is especially suitable for forcing into early bloom. When grown outdoors, it naturally opens in March and April. This reaches about a foot in height.
Tulip Sweet Love would be just delightful for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. The exquisite, soft pink petals are wonderfully decorated with shades of paler pink and deep red along the margins. The stems are about 1˝ to two feet in height. When grown in gardens, this blooms from April to May.
Tulips get their name from a Turkish word (tulband), which means turban.