Double Tulips: Create Springtime Drama

We call Tulips the "lipsticks of the garden" because they provide an elegant finishing touch to spring borders. Lush double-flowered Tulips add even more flair. The long-lasting, semidouble to double flowers of these Tulips bear a striking resemblance to double Peonies. Many arrive in May, when most otherTulips have finished their show. All are good for bedding and as cut flowers, and some are excellent for forcing. Most double-flowered Tulips are hardy to Zone 3.

To use this group of bulbs in your garden, throw away all your preconceptions about planting Tulips and start with a fresh look at each variety. For the best display, avoid the "soldier effect" and space these elegant bulbs in natural-looking clusters, about five to six inches apart from each other. Tulips prefer well-drained, good garden soil. Sandy soil enriched with organic matter is ideal, as is a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Full sun is recommended (at least six hours or more). Keep Tulip bulbs cool (below 65 degrees) until you are ready to plant them and make sure to put them in the ground at least a month before the soil freezes. Water them in well.

Plant double-flowered Tulip varieties in splashes in the perennial border, near an entrance, or fill a prominent bed with these beauties. Feature a fragrant Tulip, such as 'Orca', where you're sure to enjoy its scent. Create thrilling drama by combining two or more double Tulips, such as the ones showcased in our Touch of Perfume Tulip Collection or our May Romance Tulip Collection. Manydouble Tulips that are 10-14 inches tall work well in the front of a border.

Double Tulips look lovely with other spring bloomers; their full-bodied blooms serve as especially pleasing accents for Peonies. Underplant pastel shades of double Tulips with Forget-Me-Nots for a classic combination. Tulips also look perfect planted among ground covers like Epimedium or Vinca. In any case, plant abundantly in order to have plenty for arrangements.

Many Tulips (the midseason and late-flowering varieties in particular) tend to bloom magnificently the first spring or two after planting and decline thereafter. Species Tulips, Darwin Hybrids, Fosterianas, Greigiis, Kaufmannianas, and WFF Perennial Tulips can put on a stunning display for several years with your help.

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