|Tulip (Tulipa sp.)|
I chose tulips to be my first post in this series because they are beautiful bright spots of color in my otherwise bland landscape this time of year and I love spring color! :)
Tulips come from the genus Tulipa and are native to the eastern Mediterranean area. They were introduced to Europe in the 1500's and became so popular that they were traded as currency in the first half of the 1600's. I was introduced to this as the 'Tulip Craze', but I've read it referred to as 'Tulipmania'. This craze is frequently used to illustrate over-inflation of value of a product in financial circles. (Don't you love that plants so often make great illustrations in other parts of life!) Today tulips remain one of the most commercially traded flowers in the market for both landscaping and cut flowers.
Tulips are a favorite because they are one of the first signs of spring each year and because they can be found in so many colors! (I'm thinking about adding some more colors around my home!) Tulips like well drained soils, long cool spring and cold winters, but they can be and often are planted as annuals in warmer locations where they do not get cold enough to reset the flowering cycle.
Tulips should be planted in the fall. Place them in the soil about two times as deep as the diameter of the bulb... meaning if it has a two inch bulb you would plant it so there is 4 inches of soil on top of it. They are relatively disease resistant but are susceptible to rot if they sit in wet soil, so be careful to plant them where they will not sit in water. After flowering, it is ok to dead-head the tulip, but do not remove the leaves unless you already plan on replacing them in a season or two. The leaves are needed to store energy for flowering the next year. If you need to relocate a tulip wait until the leaves start turning yellow and then dig it up.
I researched the following sites for my information. If you would like more detailed information check out some of these links:
National Gardening Association: Tulips
National Gardening Association: Planting Tulips
Other sites I found helpful, but are not educational or reference sites are:
I hope you enjoyed learning a few facts about tulips. Feel free to share any plants that you would like to see featured as the plant of the week and I'll see what I can do. See you back next week for the next Plant of the Week. Happy Gardening! :)