Container Tulips Report 2018

My fellow gardeners, the state of  the container Tulips this year has been: AWESOME. And people who know me will tell you that I never use that word.

tulips in containers 2

Of course, one of the reasons that the container Tulips look so good is that almost all of them are blooming at the same time. I planted the containers with two Early Single Tulips that are supposed to bloom in April. Then I planted three Single Late and other later-blooming varieties. All the Tulips were ordered from

tulips in containers 3

Basically, the Early Tulips bloomed late and the Late Tulips bloomed when they were supposed to. The result was a blooming season that was shorter than I had planned. However, when almost every variety bloomed together starting in early May, they provided a fabulous show.

Tulip fostery king

The first of the container Tulips to bloom was ‘Fostery King’. This is a Giant Darwin Hybrid and a late bloomer, so it’s ironic that it was the first to bloom. This Tulip is colored a rich red with a creamy white base.

tulip fostery king whte base

Here’s a look at the base on the inside of a ‘Fostery King’ that is just past its prime.

tulip suncatcher

‘Suncatcher’ is a mid-season Triumph Tulip. From the way it holds the light you can see that it is well-named. This is the first year I’ve grown this variety and it’s definitely a winner in my book.

Tulip princess irene

‘Princess Irene’ is an old favorite that never fails to delight. Orange flushed with purple – every time I see that I fall in love. A Single Early Tulip.

tulip 2 headed princess irene

Look, a two-headed princess!

tulip couleur cardinal

‘Couleur Cardinal’ is an old standby and a Single Early. Again, the rich color leaves me swooning.

tulip ballerina 2

Finally, ‘Ballerina’ is a Lily Flowering Tulip. ‘Ballerina’ lets me indulge my love of orange Tulips, in this case enhanced with scarlet flames.

tulip ballerina

I like the elegant shape of the Lily-flowering Tulips.

There are also a few varieties of Tulips in the beds and borders that are still blooming.

tulip little princess

‘Little Princess’ is a cross between two Species Tulips. I need to relocate these guys as they are being surrounded by taller Starry Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum stellatum)

tulip persian pearl

Ditto the magenta Tulipa humilis (I can’t remember the variety).

tulip lady jane

We have two varieties of Tulipa clusiana: the white and rose ‘Lady Jane’ and the yellow and rose ‘Tubergen’s Gem’. These are some of Judy’s favorites. Unfortunately, they are gradually fading away. I suppose I should plan to get some more this fall.

So I’ve got to say that even with the odd bloom times, it’s been a very satisfying Tulip season here at Garden In A City. How have your Tulips done this year?

52 Comments on “Container Tulips Report 2018”

  1. So, if they bloomed simultaneously, will they all be done at the same time? . . . or is it too early to ask that question. It is best to enjoy it now and worry about that later. I tried that with freesias. I put a layer of bulbs down, covered them with media, planted another layer above them about a week later, covered them with media, and continued the process for a few weeks. They ALL were duds! They came up over about two months, all sickly and scrawny and ugly. For two months, it was like a pot of media with two or three thin freesia stems blooming at any one time. Well, I certainly dragged the season out. Besides being a total failure, it was done differently from tulips, but phasing bulbs that would otherwise bloom at the same time. There are no early or late freesias to plant at the same time like you did with tulips.
    There are so many tulips now that I do not even know if a Darwin Hybrid is what it was back in the 1980s. They were the simple colors back then, but also my favorites (because they were simple).

    • I like simple, especially when it comes to the tulip form. I tried to combine Crocus and Tulips in different layers this year, it didn’t work so great. I may give it one more try, though. As for when the Tulips go over, we’ll soon see. Some varieties might hold out longer than others.

      • After seeing so many, I want to try them next year. Of course I won’t, but it is fun to think about. I might do gladiolus again, because they continue for a few years. The last time I grew them, there about half as many as each previous year, until there were none left, but it was worth it.

  2. Your tulip display is ideal. AWESOME. They look so colorful lining your path. My tulips did well too only they are over done gone. Even most of the greenery is gone on them due to hot dry weather.

  3. Wow! What a show! I am very impressed. And your choices are excellent too. I need to restock all my tulips in the borders and will definitely plant Princess Irene again, and Ballerina. I love Fostery King too. In fact I just started looking through the Peter Nyssen spring bulbs website! 🙂

  4. Wow, so gorgeous!! Such a great mix of colors. Our weird weather made for a late spring, with all of my bulbs blooming pretty much at once, too. I don’t grow many tulips though, sadly, due to all the critters. I did plant some that I think were also ‘Tubergen’s Gem’, and those are flying under the radar for now (knock on wood) and still blooming.

  5. I call foul! I’ve searched your blog for the word, “awesome” and it’s come up a few times. Seriously, though, I’m glad your tulip display has turned out to be spectacular, especially given the strange and difficult condition at start of was-supposed-to-be-Spring.

  6. I totally agree: Your tulips look awesome (and your photos of them are excellent as well).
    Orange petals with some purple (or pink, for example) are something irresistible.
    For this year; I didn’t plant any new tulips, but for the next year, I must. I have always had the best results in pots… well, I have also planted the best bulbs in the containers. 🙂

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