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Nothing says spring quite like tulips. One of the most popular flowers on the planet, these classic blooms are very versatile, great for edging a path, cutting, or even creating large colour-coordinated beds.
Tulips can grow anywhere from 20 to 60 centimetres in height. If you want a certain size, be sure to check the variety specifics. The most traditional and familiar variety is shaped like a wine glass, on very sturdy, straight stems. You can also find tulips with ruffled petals, "parrot" tulips which resemble tropical flowers and double tulips which could be mistaken for small peonies. Colour selection is just as broad, ranging from black-burgundy to pure white. Red, coral, pink, orange and yellow are also available as well as varieties which are variegated, or appear to be two toned.
Simple to grow, tulips should be planted during the fall in fertilized, well-worked soil. If you experience cold winters, add a layer of mulch for insulation. In very warm areas, place your bulbs in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks before planting. This "tricks" the bulbs and will result in stronger stems and larger flowers. Once plants appear in the spring, fertilize regularly, according to package directions. Some gardeners dig up their tulips each year and store in a cool spot, while others leave them in the ground. Ask local gardeners for their best tips, taking into account your climate and the varieties you're growing.
A gift of tulips is perfect for almost any occasion. Wedding bouquets of tulips are fresh and modern, while a single tulip sitting in a windowsill vase is simply elegant. Experiment to find the best ways to use cut tulips for indoor decorating, and be sure to plant enough for bouquet gift-giving!
Tulips are unusual in the fact that they grow toward sunlight resulting in curved, bendy stems. Sometimes people mistake this for the blooms wilting or weeping, but by simply turning the vase around, the direction of the growth will be changed. To keep the tulips as controlled as possible, keep the stems as short as possible within the vase you are using.