We are celebrating the month in which spring begins with the tulip. The flower from the Tulipa genus exudes freshness, sturdiness and color, and helps to bring spring a step closer. Growers therefore do their best to supply the flower as early as possible by forcing the tulip to bloom.
Clogs, windmills and tulips: the Dutch trinity. Aren’t they? Well not quite. The flower originates from Turkey, where Ottoman sultans wore a tulip on their turban. The first shipment of tulip bulbs arrived in Antwerp in 1562, marking the start of Dutch bulb growing. New shapes and colors quickly developed and filled the fields of Holland.
Nowadays over 3000 cultivars of tulip bulbs are grown on 10,000 hectares in the Netherlands. Of those cultivars, some 600 are available in the cut flower trade. Breeding has now created fifteen groups of tulips, classified by leaf and flower shape, natural flowering period and/or height. Tulips come in almost all the colors of the spectrum, including flowers edged with fringes, green splashes in the flower and double flowers that could almost pass for peonies.
CARE TIPS FOR PROFESSIONALS
- Tulips can easily grow another 5 to 15 cm in the bucket. You can prevent them from growing too much by keeping them for a short period and in cool conditions. Place them on a shallow layer of water.
- Tightly wrap tulips in paper to make them nice and firm and prevent them from growing crooked.
- Work in clean and dry conditions: botrytis can easily affect these fresh, leafy flowers.
- If you are using tulips in a bouquet or arrangement, allow for the growth spurt.
- Add bulb flower food to a mixed bouquet of tulips and narcissi. Narcissi exude slime after being cut - the food prevents this from damaging the tulips.
DISPLAY TIPS FOR PROFESSIONALS
The peak tulip season runs from January to mid-April. You therefore have the pick of all the types and colors in March. A sizable bouquet with tulips in different colors is simple but irresistible. Fancy something more traditional? The elegant shape of parrot tulips fits perfectly in beautiful 17th-century style still-lives, combined with ranunculus, carnations, hydrangea and eucalyptus, for example.