All the bulbs that were planted in the fall sprout foliage in March and produce beautiful brightly colored flowers in April.
Tulips are bulbs that prefer to live in colder areas than our Eastern Shore of Maryland, but some will still be able to survive our hot summers.
They should be planted in full sun or in an area that provides some afternoon shade.
They need to be planted in well-drained soils at least 6-8 inches deep.
If the bulbs are planted in low areas or in soggy soils, they will drown and die.
Compost can be worked into the soil to add slow-release nutrients.
In the spring the foliage starts to emerge as early as February and March.
The leaves of tulips are very hardy no matter how cold it gets.
Once the leaves are about 7 inches tall, the flower buds will begin to grow out of the bulb and will soon grow taller than the leaves.
Tulips come in a rainbow of colors and shapes.
From purest white to the darkest purple that it appears to be black.
There are yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender and purple.
The earliest tulips usually have round flowers with single petals which often have short flower stalks and there are also double early tulips with many petals.
The Triumph tulips which always flower in April have either a rounded flower shape or a vase shape.
Fosteriana has grey-green leaves and short but large flowers.
The Darwin hybrid tulips have the longest lasting flowers on tall stems and the bulbs last the longest despite our hot summers.
Once the late tulips start to bloom, the weather is often very warm and the flowers don’t last as long due to the heat.
Lily flowered tulips also flower late but their lovely shape and grace make them irresistible to most tulip lovers.
Some tulips flowers are fringed on the top while some start out green and as they mature the colors of pink, red and orange fill into the petals.
Parrot tulips have many colors and curled or twisted petals as bright as the birds they are named after.
Kaufmanninana has flowers that open up flat and resemble water lilies.
There are so many wonderful types and colors of tulips it is often hard to just plant a few.
The tulips that last the longest include the Darwin hybrids, Fosterianas, Kaufmannianas and some of the species tulips.
Once the tulips have finished flowering, you should trim off the flower stalk to about one inch below the flower.
The flower stalk and leaves will continue to grow and send all their energy down to the tulip bulb to create a larger bulb that can create a larger flower for the next spring.
When the leaves turn yellow, trim them off at the ground.
If annuals are planted over the tulips for summer color, chose to annul flowers that don’t need a lot of water to keep the tulip bulbs as dry as our summers can be.