Parrot Tulip Bulbs – Growing Tips And Parrot Tulip Information

parrot tulip
Image by EvaKaufman

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Growing parrot tulips isn’t difficult, and care of parrot tulips is nearly as easy, although these tulips need a bit more attention than standard tulips. Read on to learn more.

Parrot Tulip Information

Parrot tulips, which first appeared in France, found their way to the Netherlands in the Eighteenth century, where they were highly prized and extremely expensive. The tulips are hardy to USDA planting zones 4 through 7.

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Parrot tulips are cup-shaped, fringed, twisted and ruffled tulips decorated with vivid, flame-like splashes, stripes or feathery markings. Parrot tulip flowers are available in a range of bright colors, including red, violet, yellow, orange, pink, green and near black. Parrot tulip flowers are huge – measuring nearly 5 inches across on 15- to 20-inch stems.

Parrot flowers are big, fancy tulips that deserve a spot in a flower bed or border where their exotic beauty can be fully appreciated. Plant extra parrot tulip bulbs; the long-stemmed beauties are stunning in bouquets.

Growing Parrot Tulips

Plant parrot tulip bulbs in full sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil any time between early autumn and November.

Select a site protected from harsh wind, as long-stemmed parrot tulip flowers are somewhat fragile.

Plant the bulbs about 5 inches deep, with 4 to 6 inches between each bulb. Water lightly after planting, then cover the area with 2 to 3 inches of shredded bark, pine needles, or other organic mulch.

Care of Parrot Tulips

Remove the mulch as soon as your parrot tulip flowers sprout in spring. This is also the time to begin supplemental watering, which should occur weekly until the flowers fade in early summer. Use a hose or drip system and don’t damage the blooms by watering from above.

Feed the tulips every month during the growing season, using a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio such as 10-10-10.

Remove blooms and flower stems as soon as parrot tulip flowers fade, but don’t remove the foliage until it dies down and turn yellow. This is critical, as the green foliage absorbs energy from the sunlight, which supplies food that powers the bulbs for the next blooming season.

Dig up parrot tulip bulbs after the foliage dies down. Store the bulbs in a warm, dry location until the temperatures drop in autumn, then replant the bulbs. Discard any bulbs that look deformed, diseased or rotted.

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