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Pretty Tulips that Come Back Every Year

Tulips, Tulipa, Naturalizing, Spring Bulbs

Tulips for Naturalizing, Tulips that come back, Best Tulips, Naturalizing Bulbs, perennial Bulbs, Perennial Tulips

Many tulips are not strongly perennial, and their floral display tends to decline from season to season. They bloom well the first year but then peter out after a few years. Their large bulbs split into smaller bulbs that may not have the same flowering power or are simply non-productive. Instead of one large, stately bloom, two or three smaller flowers will pop out of the ground. Plantings that don’t have enough energy will send up a mass of green foliage and no bloom.

But if you select the right tulip varieties, plant them in the right spot, and provide the proper care, you can be rewarded with a magnificent spring display year after year.

Some tulips are better suited for naturalizing or perennializing than others.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Genus Tulipa
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Banks And Slopes, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

1 - Choose the Right Tulips

Tulipa ‘Angelique’ (Double Late Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Apricot Emperor’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘China Pink’ (Lily-Flowered Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Daydream’ (Darwin Hybrid Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Don Quichotte’ (Triumph Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Exotic Emperor’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Flaming Purissima’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Ivory Floradale’ (Darwin Hybrid Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Negrita’ (Triumph Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Orange Emperor’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Orange Princess’ (Double Late Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Pink Impression’ (Darwin Hybrid Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’ (Triumph Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Purissima’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Red Emperor’ (Fosteriana Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Red Impression’ (Darwin Hybrid Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Shirley’ (Triumph Tulip)
Tulipa ‘Spring Green’ (Viridiflora Tulip)
Tulipa ‘West Point’ (Lily-Flowered Tulip)
Tulipa ‘White Triumphator’ (Lily-Flowered Tulip)
Tulipa batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ (Botanical Tulip)
Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’ (Botanical Tulip)
Tulipa Clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ (Botanical Tulip)
Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha (Botanical Tulip)
Tulipa saxatilis ‘Lilac Wonder’ (Botanical Tulip)
Tulipa sprengeri (Sprenger Tulip)
Tulipa sylvestris (Botanical Tulip)

2 – Plant your Tulips Properly

  • Tulips like fertile, well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly acidic and plenty of sun – at least six hours a day. They need plenty of water from fall to late spring when they are in growth.
  • If the fall has been dry, water your tulips immediately after planting to get the roots started.
  • Planting tulips deeper in the soil (four times the bulb’s height) can help keep them coming back. This protects them better from deep frosts and fluctuations in temperature. Their bulbs are less likely to split into 2 or more small bulbs.
  • Avoid planting too early in the season. Wait until mid to late fall, when daytime temperatures are in the 70s (20ºC), and nighttime temperatures are in the 40s (4ºC).
  • Apply compost.
  • Ensure the bulbs don’t get too much moisture when they’re dormant in summer. Plant your tulips in a site you will never water over the summer to avoid bulbs rot.
  • Don’t cut your Darwin or Fosteriana tulips to make fresh bouquets. Removing their stems depletes their energy-storing ability. Wait until the flowers start dying back, then cut off the flower heads 1 in. below their base so the plant doesn’t put energy into seed production. This rule does not apply to the species tulips as you want to let them self-seed and multiply.
  • Let the foliage die back before removing it, which can take 6-8 weeks.

You may want to review these useful guides

12 Top Performing Spring Bulbs that Come Back Year After Year!
Brighten Up Your Garden From January Through May with Colorful Flower Bulbs
Combining Tulips with Annuals and Perennials
Great Daffodils that Come Back Every Year
Learn How To Plant, Grow and Care for Tulips
Best Flower Bulbs For Your Rock Garden
Compare All Tulipa (Tulip)
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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Genus Tulipa
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Banks And Slopes, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
Compare All Tulipa (Tulip)
Compare Now
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Tulipa (Tulip)
Guides with
Tulipa (Tulip)

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