The Best Kind Of Tulips For Beginner Gardeners To Plant This Fall

Published
The Best Kind Of Tulips For Beginner Gardeners To Plant This Fall

The Best Kind Of Tulips For Beginner Gardeners To Plant This Fall

Andrea Kraus-wirth/Getty Images

There’s no doubt that tulips are a classic flower that can add vibrant colors to your garden. Of course, if you’re a beginner, then you might not know where to start. Along with figuring out what you need to know before planting tulips and what area of your garden is the best spot for these flowers, you also need to decide what kind of tulips you want to grow and are capable of keeping alive. Frankly, there are more than 3,000 kinds of tulips which definitely gives you plenty of options. As for their individual aspects, Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms, the CEO of John Scheepers Beauty from Bulbs and Van Engelen Wholesale Flower Bulbs, told Country Living, “They come in a range of colors, bloom times, and heights from 4 to 30 inches tall. Because of the sheer number of tulips available, you can keep your garden looking fresh and interesting every year when you change up your display.”

Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can narrow down what kinds of tulips you’d like to grow. You can consider what shades and shapes catch your eye, how much space you have to offer each variety, and what types thrive in your area. You may also want to opt for tulips that are relatively hearty, easy to grow, and the best kinds for beginner gardeners to plant in the fall so that they’ll be enjoying gorgeous blooms by the time warmer weather comes.

Olympic Flame Tulip

tulips in a garden

YouTube

Olympic flame tulips (Tulipa Olympic Flame) could surely earn a gold medal when it comes to their stunning appearance. However, that’s not how they got their name. Instead, it likely has more to do with the gorgeous gold petals that have bright flame-like streaks of red. They can also grow to be up to two feet tall, which is obviously pretty darn impressive and might remind you of an Olympic torch. A perennial Darwin hybrid tulip, the blooms are supported by strong stems that are surrounded by lovely green leaves making them worthy of your garden.

Orange Emperor Tulips

tulips in a garden

Pixabay

Orange Emperor tulips (Tulip Fosteriana) are another variety that isn’t difficult to grow, which makes it an ideal choice for gardeners who are just getting started. With a fabulously regal name that gives away its color, the rich orange tone of the petals can also boast hints of stunning yellow and apricot shades. The flowers grow to be around five inches while the overall plant can stretch to be a stately 10 to 14 inches. This height is no problem, of course, for this type of tulip which is strong and sturdy.

Taco Tulips

tulips in a garden

Instagram

If you don’t already know what Taco tulips (Tulipa clusiana Taco) look like, then you might imagine something that could be mistaken for a little tortilla. Frankly, it does have long light yellow petals that could perhaps look like a taco shell. They also have red petals as well as green stems and leaves that can have a blue tinge. Beyond that, it’s another great choice for beginners thanks to the fact that they don’t require special soil, won’t compete with other plants, and can be grown in pots and containers as well as directly in your garden.

Gemma Parrot Tulips

tulip in a garden

YouTube

The Gemma tulip (Tulipa Gemma) is a variety that is part of the larger parrot tulip family. Granted, this particular flower is known for having vibrant pink petals that look like flashy flamingo wings as opposed to feathers on a parrot. On top of that, they also have distinctive and absolutely delightful ruffled edges that, along with the color, will make these tulips a centerpiece of your garden. While the large blooms will surely thrive, you will need to give them a little extra support due to their size and, in turn, their hefty weight.

Arabian Mystery Triumph Tulips

tulip in a garden

Agnieszka Kwiecień/Wikimedia

The Arabian Mystery tulip (Tulipa Arabian Mystery) is another variety that is part of a larger group. This time it’s the Triumph Tulip family. While the enigmatic name alone is surely enough to charm you, you’ll also surely appreciate the fact that they grow strong stems that can stand up to both rainy and windy weather as well as support the striking blooms. Triumphs come in a wide range of colors, however, the Arabian Mystery tulips have velvety petals that are a deep purple at the bottom with wonderful white tips.

[Image by Agnieszka Kwiecień via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Holland Chic Tulip

tulips in a garden

Agnieszka Kwiecień/Wikimedia

If you think that Holland Chic tulips (Tulipa Holland Chic) look like lilies, then you’re certainly not alone. In fact, they’re part of the aptly named Lily Flowered Tulip group. A type of flower that blooms later than other varieties and isn’t as delicate as it looks, it can actually grow to be 24 inches tall. It also has a surprise in store for beginner gardeners. While the flower will appear to be fully white when the petals are still closed, they will suddenly display a pretty pink shade when the blooms open.

[Image by Agnieszka Kwiecień via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Lady Jane Tulips

tulips in a garden

Thomas Pusch/Wikimedia

At just 8 inches tall when fully grown, Lady Jane tulips (Tulipa clusiana Lady Jane) aren’t nearly as lengthy or dramatic as other varieties. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t add an enviable touch to your garden. Known as a candy-cane hybrid, when they bloom in mid-spring, they’ll dazzle you with their pure white interior petals and two-tone outer petals that are white on the inside and rosy pink on the outside. You’ll also be able to enjoy them year after year as they tend to grow back better than other kinds of tulips.

[Image by Thomas Pusch via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Belicia Multi-flowered Tulips

tulips in a garden

YouTube

Multi-flowered tulips are another group of flowers with a self-explanatory and totally appropriate name. Boasting anywhere from three or more big, puffy blossoms on one stem, these definitely aren’t your typical tulips. That certainly goes for Belicia multi-flowered tulips (Tulipa Belicia), which tend to have at least five blooms on a plant that will end up being around 20 inches tall. With so many flowers growing on sturdy stems, you’ll be able to enjoy an abundance of white and pink petals even if you only manage to grow a few plants.

Red Hunter Tulips

tulips in a garden

YouTube

Wildflower Tulips are another group that are strong and durable, even standing up to nasty weather, which makes them an ideal choice for beginner gardeners. They are also a type of perennial that can expand farther into your garden as they grow which you’ll surely love to see if you opt to plant Red Hunter tulips (Tulipa linifolia [Batalinii Group] Red Hunter). A type of Wildflower Tulip that has breathtakingly radiant red flowers, each plant can grow to be 10 inches high with beautiful blue-green leaves on firm if seemingly thin stems.

Kaufmanniana Tulips

tulips in a garden

Acabashi/Wikimedia

Originally from Turkistan, Kaufmanniana tulips (Tulipa kaufmanniana) don’t require a lot of TLC, and yet will enjoy a nice, long life in your garden. This is, in part, due to the fact that they’re somewhat shorter than other tulip varieties at 6 inches tall. Because of this, they aren’t damaged or swept away by wind or rain. Their small size also doesn’t lessen the impact of their appearance. Petals that can be pink, red, purple, orange, and yellow as well as a combo of colors open up when hit by sunshine and transform into a stunning star-like shape.

[Image by Acabashi via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.