The Flower That Went Viral
Bulb Of The Week: Tulips
Several centuries ago, well before the creation of social media, the Tulip became the first flower to go viral, both literally and figuratively. Tulips that were affected by a mosaic virus produced elaborate, feathered patterns of two or more colors. The results were enormously popular. Demand, which became known as Tulipomania, drove prices to outrageous levels. The speculative craze reached a crescendo in 1637, and ended in financial upheaval. Several centuries ago, well before the creation of social media, the Tulip became the first flower to go viral, both literally and figuratively. Tulips that were affected by a mosaic virus produced elaborate, feathered patterns of two or more colors. The results were enormously popular. Demand, which became known as Tulipomania, drove prices to outrageous levels. The speculative craze reached a crescendo in 1637, and ended in financial upheaval.
These days, you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices for Tulips. At Rohsler’s, we have an excellent selection of Tulip bulb varieties and mixes that will produce early, mid-spring, and late spring blooms in nearly every color you can name, so you will be able to enjoy these flowers for months.
Flower types include single, double, fringed, and Peony-like blooms. We even carry the stunning variegated forms that spawned Tulipomania. Choices include everything from the small to the tall.
The single early Hermitage variety produces vibrant orange flowers, while the Purple Queen of the Night sends up deep, dark single blooms. Dallas is a favorite fringed pink Tulip, and the Rembrandt Mixture continues the show into the late season.White Emperor, Oxford (red), Golden Oxford, and Copex (purple) are excellent choices for big, bold blooms. Smaller forms include Chrysantha, a red and yellow variety, and Pinocchio, a Gregii Tulip which has showy mottled foliage accompanied by red and ivory blooms.
The Angelique (pale pink) and Mount Tacoma (snowy white) mix is a lovely blend of Peony-like blooms. “Springtime Mix” includes jewel-tone, Peony-style blossoms that are sure to make your garden the talk of the neighborhood.
As you dig the holes for your bulbs, remember to stagger your planting (picture a zigzag pattern) for a “full” look in the garden bed. Bulb augers that can be used with a standard drill can also be used to plant bulbs quickly and efficiently. In general, bulbs should be planted three times as deep as they are wide; however, large-flowering Tulips and Daffodils should be planted approximately seven to eight inches deep.
Tulips combine well with other bulbs, annuals, and perennials, so consider companion plants when prepping your garden.
Tricks of the Trade:
- Bulb-tone. Add this organic fertilizer to feed your Tulips.
- Bumper Crop. As you dig the holes for your bulbs, mix approximately 25% Bumper Crop, an organic soil amendment that helps plants thrive, with 75% of the soil you removed when digging the hole.
- Repellex. A proper does of this capsacin-based soil additive will keep beasts from feasting on your flowers. Your Tulips will absorb the very substance that gives peppers their heat, making them distasteful to would-be snackers.
- Deer Out/Liquid Fence. Think of these repellents as added insurance that will protect your flowers as the leaves and buds begin to emerge.
- Crab shells. This product works like magic to convince pesky animals to keep their paws to themselves – and off of your bulbs.
- Chicken wire. You can also keep critters from digging up your bulbs by placing chicken wire over the top of your planting. Just remember to remove the wire in early spring when the foliage begins to appear.
- Mass planting. Bulbs should be planted in groupings to produce a colorful show. We recommend planting at least eight tulips in each group.
- Mark your plantings. Use stakes or other identifiable markers to remind you where your bulbs are planted. That way, you’ll be able to dig holes for other plants without disturbing your new bulb garden.
More tips await you here at Rohsler’s. Come in today to learn more about how to add these steadfast perennials to your garden for many years of vibrant spring color. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you make your bulb planting fun, successful, and rewarding.