It’s nice that’s it’s officially spring and all, but many of us are asking: when will the Tulips bloom?
In general, the answer is: it depends. But it will be a lot sooner if you have Tulipa kaufmanniana, also known as Water Lily Tulips, in your garden. In fact, here it is not even April, and our T. kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’ is already blooming.
‘Early Harvest’ is only one of several varieties belonging to this tulip species. l picked it for its intense but cheerful orange color – orange flowers are a weakness of mine. Like other Water Lily Tulips, it is very short, only about 6″ tall, and has striped, wavy foliage.
Under the right conditions, Water Lily Tulips are perennial and will even naturalize. I planted a small clump of this Tulip in the Lamp Post Bed years ago, but was beginning to give up hope for their future, thanks to hungry rabbits – who had the vicious habit of striking just as the buds were about to open.
This year, I spread a few chunks of Irish Spring soap near the leaves as they emerged – and so far, the rabbit damage has been minimal, even as the Tulips have begun to bloom.
In fact, there is an ‘Early Harvest’ bloom about 10 yards from the original clump – planted, I suppose, by some forgetful squirrel.
What are the earliest Tulips in your garden, and when do they bloom?