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When Do Tulips Bloom? Seasons, Factors, & Tips

yellow poplar or tulip tree with autumn leaves

Whether you’re a gardener or simply a lover of all things beautiful, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a tulip. These gorgeous flowers are popular in most gardens and are often included in bouquets. If you aren’t a tulip expert and want to include them in your seasonal gardening, you may be curious as to when they bloom and how long the season lasts. Tulip season begins in March and lasts until May.

Unfortunately, tulips aren’t known for sticking around when they arrive. Tulip blooms may last anywhere from a few days to a month, which doesn’t give a lot of time to enjoy their beauty. Let’s learn more about why tulip season is so long for a bloom that doesn’t hang around long.

garden flower divider Tulip Season

As we’ve already mentioned, tulips season starts in March and lasts until May. The reason tulip season lasts for such a long period, yet the flowers aren’t known for their longevity, is that certain tulips bloom at different times throughout the season.

The Early Bloomers

tulips during spring
Image Credit: OnzeCreativitijd, Pixabay

Fosteriana tulips or Emperor tulips are the most popular early-season bloomers. These tulips can grow to 16 inches high and produce flowers as big as 8 inches. You also have Double early tulips that are early bloomers and grow to be 12 inches high. It is these tulips that are most popular with gardeners due to their extended bloom time. Other notable early blooming tulips are Single tulips, which are similar to double tulips in color, and the Kaufmanniana tulip, which isn’t as well-known.


Mid-Season Bloomers

The two most popular mid-season blooming tulips are also among the largest. The Darwin Hybrid can have a stem up to 28 inches long with red and orange petals. The Triumph tulip can grow to 20 inches high and produces bicolored flowers people adore. Other mid-season bloomers include the Greigii tulip, known for its extended blooming period, and the Viridiflora tulips which are best known for the touch of green each of their petals has.


Late Bloomers

orange tulip
Image Credit: Piqsels

The most popular late-blooming tulip is the parrot tulip. This flower offers incredible color combinations which makes it highly sought after. Lily-flowered tulips are another popular flower during this season due to their flared appearance. This makes them popular for bouquets. Double late tulips and Single late tulips are among the final flowers to bloom in a garden each year which makes them a perfect addition for lasting color.

garden flower divider

The Longevity of Tulips

There are a couple of factors that come into play when determining how long a tulip will bloom. The most important is the weather. Tulips that normally bloom in colder, wetter parts of the season don’t last as long. Those that bloom when things are dryer and warmer, usually stick around a bit longer. This is due to tulips originating from the Middle East where the cool to warm weather conditions helped them grow longer.

The type of tulip you choose also affects its bloom time. As we’ve mentioned, certain tulip varieties simply last longer. If you want a tulip that will remain in your garden for extended periods, plant them in the ground, not in planters, and consider choosing single late bloomers or Greigii tulips.

garden flower divider Final Thoughts

As you can see, tulips have a long blooming season due to their multiple varieties. For gardeners who want tulips to stay visible in their garden throughout the entire blooming season, mixing varieties is a smart play. This will provide you with beautiful tulips throughout early, mid, and late spring.


Featured Image Credit: Matt Ledwinka, Shutterstock

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