Tulipa humilis

Seven species tulips to grow

Discover seven tough but beautiful species tulips to grow - they should come back reliably year after year.

If you find tulips difficult to grow, you may find species tulips easier. These are quite unlike their large-flowered cousins, which dazzle in their first year, then all but disappear the next.

Species tulips are as reliable as daffodils and, while they're shorter, smaller and seem more delicate, they've got the stamina for long-lived displays. Most species tulips hail from the mountainous regions of northern Turkey, so they can cope with extreme weather. With minimum care, they'll flower year after year, and many will bulk up into clumps after a few years.

Like cultivars, species tulips prefer growing in free-draining soil in full sun. Plant them in drifts for swathes of colour, dot them around a rockery, or show off their blooms with decorative mulches in pots.

Discover seven stunning species tulips to grow, below.

Advertisement

Tulipa platystigma

The rose-pink flowers of T. platystigma bear traces of orange running through the petals, becoming clearer towards the margins.
Height: 60cm.

Tulipa linifolia

This species thrives where summers are hot and winters are cold. It's ideal for rock gardens or container displays. Flowers in late-April.
Height: 20cm.

Tulipa humilis

Tulipa humilis is a sweet-scented and early-flowering species tulip to grow. Flowers from March to April.
Height: 10cm.

Tulipa armena var. lycica

Grow Tulipa armena var. lycica in a sunny spot, as this species likes a hot, dry dormancy period in summer. Flowers in April.
Height: 25cm.

Tulipa tarda

Tulipa tarda looks great in rock gardens and containers. Flowers in April.
Height: 15cm.

Tulipa acuminata

Tulipa acuminata is one of the oldest species tulips in cultivation. Combine it with with foliage plants to show off its spidery blooms. Flowers in May.
Height: 40cm.

Tulipa altaica

With bright yellow blooms, Tulipa altaica is perfect grown on its own in pots. Flowers in April.
Height: 15cm.

With minimum care, species tulips will flower year after year, and many will bulk up into clumps after a few years.

Advertisement

Kate Bradbury

Kate Bradbury says

As with cultivated tulips, give plants a good feed after flowering and mulch with organic matter. Allow the leaves to fully wither before removing. This will give them the best chance of flowering the following year.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

10 bulbs for spring cut flowers

Five best May-flowering bulbs

Five best June-flowering bulbs

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Farmer Gracy 20 per cent off Crocosmia

Save 20% on crocosmia

Enjoy vibrant colour in the garden summer after summer with savings on crocosmia. You'll save 20 per cent on crocosmia corms when you order now. Corms will be delivered in March 2018 ready for spring planting.

Use code: BBCGWCRO20

Order now

Offer

Daphne and camellia

Fill your spring garden with early colour and scent with a beautiful Daphne mezereum and Camellia 'Fairy Blush'. Buy either individually, or save £11 on the collection.

Order now

SAVE 10%

Save 10 per cent at Bloom & Wild

Save 10% at Bloom & Wild

Save 10 per cent on the entire range of flowers and gifts by post from Bloom & Wild. Designed to fit through letterboxes, these delightful parcels are perfect to send as Christmas gifts and include floral bouquets, gift sets and pre-decorated Christmas trees.

Use code: GARW10

Order now