Tulip - Tulipa


The tulip or tulip is a bulbous plant, now widespread throughout the globe; it has Asian and Mediterranean origins, most of the botanical species in fact come from Turkey; its introduction in northern Europe took place already in the 1500s, and its cultivation quickly took off, especially in Holland, the undisputed leader in modern tulip cultivation. Obviously over the centuries hundreds of cultivars and hybrid tulip species have developed; so much so that the modern classification of tulips divides them into even fifteen groups, where only one group is occupied by the nearly one hundred botanical species of tulipa, while in the other groups the various hybrids are grouped together, depending on the shape of the flower, on the size of the plant and flowers, or flowering period. The success of tulip plants is certainly due to the pleasantness of the flowers, their delicate scent and also and above all the great ease of cultivation.

Grow tulips

The tulip plants are planted in the garden or in a pot, in a sunny place, with a good loose and deep soil; they love hot and dry summers, fresh and rainy springs, they do not fear the rigors of winter, and are therefore perfect to be left at home throughout the year. Obviously we will provide a good fertilizer as soon as the foliage begins to develop; if spring is decidedly dry or we grow our tulips in pots, let us also remember to water them throughout the growing season.
Tulips, like many other bulbous plants, develop by producing small bulbs on the sides of the mother bulb; to get a good flowering every year it is advisable to remove the bulbils in late spring and place them where they can enjoy some space to widen, in this way every 2-3 years we will have new tulip bulbs. If in spacious gardens this operation can be superfluous, because bulbs and bulbils find their space without problems, in small flowerbeds and especially in pots, it is essential to remove and move the bulbils; otherwise they will subtract water and mineral salts from the larger bulbs, which are unlikely to be able to refuel sufficiently for the following year's flowering. For this reason it often happens that potted bulbous plants flower for 2-3 years and then never again, causing unnecessary frustration in budding gardeners.

Cultural tricks

If in the area in which we live the winter is decidedly stiff, or if we prefer to place other plants in the flowerbed of bulbous plants after flowering, we can also remove the bulbs from the ground and keep them until the autumn in a cool, dark and dry place , very well ventilated; in this way we will allow our bulbs to spend the period of vegetative rest in the protected area, being able to check that they do not develop mold and rot and, in addition, keep them away from moles and other rodents, which are greedy of pulpy bulbs.
In order to better take advantage of the tulips grubbing operation, it is very important that this practice is carried out at the right vegetative moment: we do not extract the bulbs from the soil until the foliage begins to turn yellow and dry, indicating that the plant has already vegetated for the right period of time. If we raise the tulips from the ground with the leaves still green and turgid, we risk first of all to let the bulb dry, secondly for sure the bulbous will not have been able to store inside it sufficient resources for the following year's flowering; so if we have to remove the bulbs still in full vegetation, we might as well throw them, because they are highly unlikely to bloom again.
So after flowering, and after allowing the foliage, through chlorophyll photosynthesis, to store enough nourishment for the following year, we remove the now dried foliage, and remove the bulbs from the ground; we divide bulbs and bulbils and let them dry in the air, before storing them in a dark, cool and dry place, such as a garage or a cellar.

Tulip - Tulipa: Plant tulips

The best time of the year to plant tulips in the garden is autumn; in this period the climate is fresh and humid, enough to allow the bulbs to settle well in the ground, to spend the winter in rest; to avoid frost, the tulips are buried at a depth of about 2-3 times their diameter, then about 10-15 cm. We use a good rich and fresh soil, not excessively peaty, possibly with an alkaline reaction. We prefer a sunny place, especially during the winter; some botanical species are of a slightly more difficult cultivation, although they tend to be very suitable for the wild.