Purple tulips are a boon to garden designers because they marry so well with other flower colours.
They make a dramatic foil for brighter blooms, such as zingy euphorbias, white camassias or lady’s mantle. Alternatively, a single variety can look stunning planted in swathes, weaving in and out of feathery grasses.
When planting your tulip bulbs, it’s a good idea to wait until November or even December, when the weather is colder. This will greatly reduce the risk of the bulbs becoming infected with fungal disease, tulip fire.
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- How to grow tulips in problem places
- Layering spring bulbs in a pot
Feast your eyes on seven gorgeous purple tulip varieties, below.
Tulipa ‘Queen of Night’
While they might look similar, ‘Queen of Night’ (on the right) is combined here with the equally rich colours of ‘Black Hero’. ‘Queen of Night’ is a well-known single-flowered variety while ‘Black Hero’ has double flowers, almost peony-like in appearance.
Tulipa ‘Arabian Mystery’
Tulipa ‘Black Parrot’
‘Black Parrot’ is a rich, purple-red fringed tulip. The petals have a frilly appearance, which is great for introducing texture to plantings. Try combining it with white-flowered tulips like ‘Tres Chic’ and ‘Spring Green’.
Tulipa ‘Rems Favourite’
This cheery variety has bi-coloured flowers that are a mixture of white with darker streaks of purple. ‘Rems Favourite’ combines well with Persian fritillaries and full purple tulips.
Tulipa ‘Uncle Tom’
‘Uncle Tom’ is a stunning, peony-flowered tulip with cardinal purple flowers that have an almost globose appearance. Perfect for cut flowers and looks lovely growing alongside orange tulips like ‘Orange Princess’.
Tulipa ‘Cafe Noir’
Tulipa ‘Magic Lavender’
With its vibrant, pinkish purple blooms, ‘Magic Lavender’ makes a stunning addition to spring beds, borders and containers. It looks beautiful planted en masse in large swathes or in lawns, providing contrast with fresh spring greens.
The flowering potential of most tulip varieties declines with age – often they won’t return at all the year after flowering. Get around this by replanting fresh bulbs each year or growing species tulips. If you’d rather wait and see if they flower again, leave them in and don’t cut off the old foliage until it’s dry and withered, or try lifting and storing the bulbs.