Tulips are beautiful spring bulbs that come in a wide range of shapes and colours. Bi-coloured tulips combine two tones in the flowers, usually appearing as a base colour overlaid with ‘flames’ that rise up from the petal bases.
Various types of tulip can have bi-coloured flowers, from bold Triumph tulips to the less glamorous species tulips, so there are two-toned varieties to suit every style of planting scheme.
Bi-coloured tulips are ideal for transitioning between two single-coloured plants by combining the colours of both. For example, a swathe of orange- and purple-coloured ‘Orange Princess’ could be used to bridge the gap between plantings of orange ‘Bestseller’ tulips and purple grape hyacinths.
Check out some of our favourite bi-coloured tulips to grow, below.
Tulipa ‘Flaming Spring Green’
‘Flaming Spring Green’ is a late-flowering variety with cream-coloured flowers overlaid with ‘flames’ that are a mixture of crimson and green. Grows to a height of 50cm.
This colourful fringed tulip combines white and pink-purple with a crystalline white edge. ‘Oviedo’ is a good choice for growing with single-coloured white and pink varieties, like ‘Purissima’ and ‘Barcelona’. Grows to 50cm in height.
Here the striking brick red and yellow variety ‘Gavota’ has been dotted in a spring border with white ‘Tres Chic’ tulips to bring out the rich colours. This thick-stemmed variety makes a good cut flower. Reaches a height of 40cm.
The red and white blooms of ‘Peppermintstick’ have narrow, streamlined blooms that distinguish Tulipa clusiana and its cultivars. As the flowers open they take on beautiful starry shapes when viewed from above. This variety suits spring borders with daffodils and white-flowered muscari. Grows to 30cm tall.
‘Flamboyant’ is a showy variety with hot orange petals that fade to yellow at their edges. It’s the ideal planting partner for bi-coloured daffodils, like ‘Golden Dawn’ and ‘Actaea’. Reaches 50cm in height.
Tulipa ‘Estella Rijnveld’
This parrot tulip has ruffled petals that are filled in with tones of red and white that tumble together. Make the most of ‘Estella Rijnveld’ by planting en masse. This variety reaches 55cm tall.
Tulipa ‘Rems Favourite’
‘Rems Favourite’ is a gorgeous Triumph tulip with white blooms bearing deep purple flames, flowering in late spring. Growing to 50cm, this variety looks beautiful growing with crown imperials and purple tulips like ‘Queen of Night’.
Growing tulips on clay
If you have clay or particularly heavy clay soil, you can still grow tulips. While they won’t grow well in its unimproved state, a good boost of organic matter such as homemade compost will boost the drainage, helping your tulips thrive.