They have given their name to successful films, cartoons and literary characters. They are among the most beautiful flowers that nature has given us, perhaps the only ones, because of the shape and colors of the petals. We are talking about tulips, species of bulbs that are used to decorate gardens, balconies, terraces and to obtain cut flowers to give away. Enrolled in its own right in the world of floral language, the tulip is much appreciated by gardeners for its splendid colored flowers: very beautiful specimens to admire and capable of maximizing the aesthetic performance of a hedge and a flower bed. Easy to grow, tulips require only a few minor cultural precautions that will always keep them healthy and lush.
Tulips, also called tulipa, are species of bulbs belonging to the Liliaceae family. Native to Asia and Mediterranean Europe, these species have more than a hundred varieties classified according to the shape and color of the flowers. Tulips were widely cultivated in Turkey 10,000 years ago and imported to Europe around 1500. The largest producer of tulips is Holland, where a real market for the sale of tulips was formed during the Renaissance period. , which were traded like financial stocks. . The name tulipa derives from the Turkish “tullband” which means “turban” due to the shape of the flowers which recalls this particular headdress. Tulips have a four to two foot tall stem, with fleshy green and bluish leaves. The individual flowers develop at the top of the stem and can have various colors, from white to red and purple. In the center of the flower, the petals are black, while the outer ones can be striped in two colors, giving life to the beautiful two-tone varieties.
There are many varieties of tulips. Some grow spontaneously, others are obtained from hybrids or crosses between one-color and two-color varieties. Among the most famous varieties, we will retain the tulipa linifolia, the tulipa australis, the tulipa tarda and the tulipa silvestris. Tulipa Fosteriana and Tulipa Lanata varieties are grown for ornamental purposes. Further classification of tulips is made according to the time of flowering and the color of the flowers. In this sense, there are early tulips, double early tulips, late tulips, one-color, two-color and shaded. There are many hybrids on the market resulting from the cross between monocolor and bicolor tulips. Among the most valuable hybrids we mention: Cottage, used for the production of cut flowers; Darwin, used both for the cut flower and for the garden, and Breeder, which offers a mix of multicolored flowers (orange, yellow, fawn, bronze and purple). Some hybrids are used to force flowering, such as Triumph. There are also “Dragon” hybrids, also called “Parrots”, because of the flowers with striped or spotted petals. From these we also obtained the “Bizzarri” hybrids with flowers of completely unusual shapes and colors compared to the classic tulips. Tulipa linifilia are varieties of tulips with pink flowers. Tulipa australis, also called mountain tulip, has flowers that are yellow on the inside and slightly orange on the outside. The flowers of the late tulip are always yellow, with white apical shades. The tulipa silvestris, with its completely yellow flowers, represents the spontaneous variety that also grows in Italy. Present in the southern regions, they are also called “field tulips”. Varieties with red, white, purple, pink and orange-red flowers are obtained from the adoptive tulip. Tulip lanata has flowers with pink petals and a yellow inner center.
Tulips are bulbous species that do not require excessive care. Perfectly capable of absorbing rainwater, they should only be watered when necessary, that is to say in times of drought. Due to their vegetative characteristics, they can remain in the same soil for many years and are suitable for both container and open-field cultivation. Particular attention should be paid in the case of propagation, which occurs through the bulbs that form from the basal bulbs. Some bulbilis are sterile and only create confusion at the base of the flower bed which is to house the tulips. Therefore, in the activity of multiplication, it is necessary to identify fertile bulbs. In the following paragraphs, we will look individually at the different practices to be implemented in the cultivation of tulips.