Peony-flowered tulips have full, luxuriant blooms that resemble peonies. They’re some of the latest tulip varieties to flower, opening in late April and May.
As well as adding a touch of exuberance to spring borders and containers, peony-flowered tulips make fantastic cut flowers. If you’re growing tulips for indoor displays, snip the blooms just before they open and don’t put them in the same vessel as daffodils, which release a substance into the water that can inhibit tulips’ flowering.
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Check out some of the best peony-flowered tulips, below.
‘Danceline’ has creamy petals with raspberry-coloured markings on the tips. Try growing it alongside varieties like ‘Mondial’ and ‘Angelique’ to create a light, airy combination.
Tulipa ‘Orange Princess’
With flowers in sunset tones of oranges and purples, ‘Orange Princess’ is a lovely addition to spring jewel gardens. Plant the bulbs near other richly-coloured varieties, like ‘Queen of Marvel’, so you can quickly snip blooms from each for indoor displays.
This bi-coloured tulip has bright yellow flowers streaked with red ‘flames’. ‘Monsella’ works well in hot-toned borders or containers with plants like crown imperials and other warm-coloured tulips.
Tulipa ‘Ice Cream’
‘Ice Cream’ is an unusual tulip with a layer of deep pink outer petals that gradually open to reveal a balled centre of white petals, resembling a dollop of ice cream. It makes a wonderful cut flower.
Tulipa ‘Chato’ has gorgeous, fuchsia flowers with intricate green veining at the centre of each petal. Unlike most other peony-flowered tulips, ‘Chato’ flowers open very early, in March and April.
Tulipa ‘Uncle Tom’
This tulip has sumptuous, deep red blooms that fade to purple as they mature. ‘Uncle Tom’ is great for dotting through spring borders, or try planting them in bold ‘ribbons’ of closely planted bulbs.
The blooms of ‘Sunlover’ undergo a colourful change as they mature, starting out an orange-red that brightens to golden yellow. Ideal for cut flowers so you can watch the change happening.
This lightly fragranced variety has creamy yellow tulips flushed with green. ‘Verona’ opens earlier than most other peony tulips, from early April.
Planting your tulips
When planting tulip bulbs, it’s a good idea to wait until November, or even December. Planting while the soil is cold will help to prevent the spread of tulip fire, a fungal disease that causes the foliage and flowers to wither, turn patchy and eventually rot.