Orange tulips are fantastic for adding warmth and colour to spring border displays. They work equally well planted in single-colour drifts or dotted among contrasting flowers – orange and purple is a classic combination. For ‘hot’ colour schemes, try mixing orange tulips with red and yellow varieties.
If you’re planning to pick tulips for cut flowers, leave as many leaves as possible in the ground with the bulb. They’ll continue to photosynthesise and provide food for the bulb. Put the flowers straight into a bucket of water while you continue picking, and strip off all but one leaf from the stem, so they’re less likely to wilt.
Discover some of the best orange tulips to grow, below.
Tulipa ‘Flamboyant’ is an elegant, single-flowered variety with rich orange-red petals that bleed out to yellow at the edges. Combines beautifully with purple and pink tulips like ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘Don Quichotte’.
‘Cairo’ is a gorgeous tulip with deep orange flowers flushed with dusky pink. It makes a great pairing with deep, intensely coloured tulips like ‘Black Parrot’. You could also dot the bulbs amongst muscari.
This lovely goblet-shaped tulip has mid-orange petals that come to a slight point. The flowers have a lovely fragrance, too. ‘Ballerina’ looks beautiful planted with swathes of ornamental grasses, like Briza media.
Tulipa ‘Bestseller’ is a single-flowered tulip with pale orange flowers, with hints of yellow and red. Try growing it with white tulips or other white spring flowers, to pick up on the pale tulips colouration.
Tulipa ‘Orange Princess’
This eye-catching variety has peony-like, double flowers with richly coloured orange flowers and purple-red ‘flames’. Glaucous foliage provides additional contrast. ‘Orange Princess’ makes a dramatic cut flower.
‘Typhoon’ is a cup-shaped tulip with petals that taper to a fine point. ‘Typhoon’ is perfect for growing as part of a spring container display, or in drifts at the front of a mixed herbaceous border.
‘Avignon’ is a fabulous orange-red tulip with flushes of pink on the petals. Try dotting this variety in spring borders with plants like Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’.
More unusually for a tulip, the flowers of ‘Artist’ are largely green, which beautifully ‘stains’ the petals that are otherwise orange-red. This shorter variety is ideal for growing in containers.
Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’
This strong-growing tulip has large single flowers with a beautiful sunset colouration. Grow ‘Prinses Irene’ in containers alongside pink flowers like Gladiolus byzantinus and Gaura ‘Gaudros’.
Planting tulips in the right spot
To get the best from your tulips, be sure to plant them in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. If your soil is particularly heavy or sandy, improve it by digging in some well-rotted organic matter, such as mushroom compost.