How to Grow and Care for Parrot Tulips in the Spring Garden

How to Grow and Care for Parrot Tulips in the Spring Garden

The parrot tulip, var., is an intriguing cultivated variety with twisted, curled, and ruffled petals streaked by vivid combinations of colors.

A vertical close up picture of vibrant red and yellow blooms of the parrot tulip growing in the late spring garden with a cloudy sky in soft focus in the background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.Tulip Essentials

Spring blooming tulips grow from bulbs planted in the fall in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 7.

Bulbs vary in size and are usually planted 4- to 6-inches deep, with 2 to 6 inches between them, in containers or in the garden.

A close up of flower bulbs ready for planting set on a wooden surface.full sun location is ideal, as well as average, well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

One inch of water per week is required during the growing season.

You may feed the bulbs with a balanced, slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 (NPK) in spring before sprouting, and again in fall.

A close up of the 'Black Parrot' flower starting to unfurl in the late spring garden on a green soft focus background.grow and care for tulips in this growing guide, as well as an introduction to the many varieties to choose from.

So, what else do we need to know about parrot tulips?

Let’s find out!

A Majestic Mutation

The genus traces its origins to the ancient Ottoman Empire, where these plants were retrieved from the wild for ornamental cultivation.

A close up of a dark flower bud before opening with yellow and red edging on a soft focus background.How to Care for Parrot Tulips

The fancier types of cultivated tulips tend to be a bit more fragile than the more plain varieties, and benefit from some extra attention.

A close up of a mass planting of vibrant tulips in the spring garden on a soft focus background.two to three inches of mulch when the foliage turns brown and withers. This adds insulation against intense summer heat, as well as protection from winter cold. Remove the mulch in early spring, before they start to sprout.

We all have our quirks, and in this case of these spectacular flowers, they are well worth indulging, considering the flashy show they put on in return.

Cultivars to Love

There are more than 50 different cultivars of var., in colors that range from nearly black to orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow, and multicolor variations.

Here are some you are sure to fall in love with:

Apricot Parrot

With oversized apricot and pink tepals streaked with green and yellow, this winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit is a spectacular addition to the spring garden.

A close up of the multicolored bloom of the 'Apricot Parrot' with distinctive ruffled edges, on a soft focus background.‘Apricot Parrot’

Blooming in late spring, this cultivar grows to a mature height of 16-24 inches tall.

Find bags of 10, 20, 50, or 100 bulbs available at Eden Brothers.

Black Parrot

This deep purple, feathery-edged beauty adds a dramatic touch to the spring landscape. It’s easy to see why this variety was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

A close up of the 'Black Parrot' bloom with distinctive ruffled edges and dark color, on a green soft focus background.‘Black Parrot’

The large, almost-black flowers are lightly fragrant, and grow atop 16- to 24-inch stems.

Find bags of 10, 20, 50, or 100 bulbs available at Eden Brothers.

Blue Parrot

Large, bright blue-purple blooms with a light purple interior and fringed edges make this cultivar a beautiful addition to borders or in cut flower arrangements.

A close up of the 'Blue Parrot' flower with vibrant blue and purple tepals on a green soft focus background.A collection of multicolored tulip flowers growing in the late spring garden on a soft focus background.Parrot Mix 

It offers a late-spring feast for the eyes. Large 4 1/2-inch (12 cm) bulbs produce slender stems of 18 to 20 inches and showy blooms in a rainbow of colors.

Plant bulbs to a depth of 5 inches, in full sun, but part shade is tolerated and is especially beneficial in warmer regions.

Find this bulb mix now at Eden Brothers.

Choose quantities of 10, 20, 50, or 100.

Pamper Your Parrots

I know you can’t wait to add parrot tulips to your outdoor living space! Their spectacular display is well worth the extra effort required.

Place them in tall containers flanking an entranceway, or in a foundation bed, where they can show off their sumptuous blooms and benefit from the shelter of your home.

Interplant them with hostas, leafy plants that help shield their delicate stems, and hide their fading foliage as spring gives way to summer.

A close up of a variety of different colored cultivars of the parrot tulip, pictured growing in the garden with soft green foliage, fading to soft focus in the background.growing flowers in your spring garden, you’ll need these guides next:

Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

“How to Grow and Care for Parrot Tulips in the Spring Garden” was first posted here

Leave a Reply

Get Your Garden Right The First TimeLearn exactly how to build and care for your garden. Sign up and never miss awesome gardening tips and ideas.