Tulipa clusiana Redouté
Tulipa aitchisonii, Tulipa fernandezii, Tulipa porphyreochrysantha, Tulipa stellata, Tulipa clusiana var. stellata
Color: Pink and white
Bloom Time: Spring season
Tulipa clusiana is a flowering plant with 2 to 5 linear, glaucous gray-green, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long leaves and deep pink and white striped flowers. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Its star-shaped flowers are 4 inches (10 cm) across with rounded bases, produced singularly or in pairs, and up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The plant blooms during the spring season.
USDA Hardiness Zone 3a to 9b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Tulips need a chilling period and are planted in the fall. Planting depth should be about three times the bulb's diameter; small bulbs will be about 5 to 6 inches (12.5 to 15 cm)deep, and larger bulbs will be 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm). Add a handful of bulb food or bone meal at planting time and water well. If it doesn't rain, keep watering weekly until the ground freezes. Feed again when the leaves emerge in the spring.
The foliage needs to be allowed to continue growing after the petals drop to feed the bulb. However, the flower stalks can be removed to prevent them from setting seeds and stealing energy from the bulb. Once the leaves die back, they will pull easily from the soil. The bulbs prefer to be on the dry side during summer dormancy. Feed each spring when the leaves first appear.
If you have trouble getting your tulips to come back each year, it could be because the winter is not cold enough, the summer is too wet, or something has eaten the bulbs. Whatever the reason, you may prefer to grow your tulips as annuals, replanting each fall. It's a bit more work, but you won't need holes as deep as perennialized planting. See more at How to Grow and Care for Tulips.
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