What Kind of Tulips Grow in Canada?
Tulips, like many other spring bulbs, appreciate cold weather and a long winter–which makes them perfect for Canadian gardening. While some hot-weather tulips don't prefer the cold that comes with Zones 2 and 3, many others thrive here. Here are some of our favorite tulips that grow well in Canada:
Fosteriana tulips bloom at the very beginning of spring, and feature unique, pointed petals. These are truly picture-perfect tulips, with tall stems and thinner, colorful petals. Lots of color, lots of form!
Classic early tulips bloom, that's right, early in spring. Available in a wide variety of single and double forms, these are your truly classic, cup-shaped tulips. Beautiful planted en masse.
Emperor tulips are large, tall, and have a slender cup. Some Emperors feature edges that frill outwards.
Jumbo perennial tulips come back year after year. True to their name, these are big, bold tulips growing in singular or multiple colors.
Darwin hybrid tulips have big, nearly bowl-shaped blooms that grow in bright colors. These are favorites of landscapers looking to make a large-scale impact.
Triumph tulips bloom from spring into summer, and have gorgeous, thick, shiny petals and sturdy stems. They are among the tallest variety.
Species tulips are shorter and more diminutive than other varieties. These may look a bit like crocus, but have a later bloom time. Excellent for carpeting a large area.
Parrot tulips are striking spring-to-summer tulips that don't look like anything else on the market. These tend to feature frilly edges, bright colors, and a tropical look.
No matter which variety you choose, Breck's Canada is here to help. We will ship your bulbs at just the right time for planting, and are always available to answer any questions that may arise. Get more information and helpful advice by visiting our page on how to grow Tulips
How to Plant Tulip Bulbs
One of the best things about tulips, and about all spring bulbs–ease of planting. Planting tulip bulbs in fall is an easy task, and having tulip bulbs in the ground gives us something to look forward to over the long, cold winter. Planting tulips is a simple process:
1. Choose an appropriate site for your tulip bulbs. The planting site should have plenty of sun, and drain well. Don't select a location where water tends to pool, as bulbs will rot if exposed to constant moisture. Make sure to think about the mature size of your tulips when choosing your location, and site them near complimentary plants. Dwarf tulips fit well in the front of a bed or border. Tall varieties are pleasing when planted en masse or behind other varieties.
2. Prepare your soil. Use a shovel or trowel to thoroughly aerate the area, and add in composted manure, loam, or another organic material to improve drainage. Soil prep is also the right time to add fertilizer, which can improve rooting and flowering. Choose a bulb-friendly variety, and be sure not to apply fertilizer directly to fresh bulbs, as it can cause burning. Keep in mind that too much nitrogen can stunt the growth of your tulips, so you may want to use manure or fertilizer, but not both.
3. Dig your holes. Each tulip bulb should go into the ground at about three times the depth of the bulb's height. So, a bulb that measures about 2 centimeters tall should be planted at six centimeters deep.
4. Set the bulbs-pointy end up! Then, backfill and tamp down the soil Water in well.
Ta-dah! Your tulips are planted. A dressing of mulch can help protect the bulbs over the cold winter. In spring, wait until the plants sprout to begin watering.
When to Plant Tulip Bulbs
Tulips require a period of cold to begin growing, so the best time to plant is in fall–if you plant in the spring, your tulips will likely not flower in the same year. Tulips should be planted about six to eight weeks before the ground freezes completely, so check your growing zone. October or November will be the right time for many lower provinces.
Are Tulips Toxic?
Tulip flowers look good enough to eat, but doing so is not a great idea. Tulips are toxic to humans and pets, containing a compound that causes stomach pain and illness. Keep pets and small children out of your tulip beds, and don't enlist their help while planting. The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant, so keep those stored in a safe place until planting.