Tulips are springtime fun

The tulip (pronounced too-lip) was originally a wild flower that grew in Central Asia.  Flowers within the description of ‘tulip’ are any various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa, of the lily family.  Tulips generally have lance shaped leaves and large showy bell shaped flowers in a large variety of colors.  Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas and need a period of cool dormancy to re-bloom.  They are typically planted in the fall, in well-drained soil, in preparation for spring blooming.

Since the 17th century, tulips have been used in gardens for decoration as well as for medicinal use.  Tulips became so popular that people began using them as a trading product.  The demand for tulips became huge and their bulbs sold for extraordinary high prices.  Botanists started to hybridize the flower and created many new varieties in color, size and even shape.  Owning such a treasure as a hybrid gave one a sign of high status.  Having tulips in your home or garden was a way to impress, especially owning those with unusual petals such as the frilly or jagged edge tulips.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that bontanits discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flames that gave the rare tulip its stunning look were, in fact, the symptoms of an infection by the mosaic virus!  The virus originated from a louse living on peaches and potatoes.  Once discovered, diseased varieties of tulips are no longer sold.  The tulips with the similar characteristics sold today are hybrids which are genetically stable and disease free.

If gardening is not your favorite pastime, you can always enjoy fresh cut tulips from your local florist.  Tulips love to be in fresh, clean water and require very little maintenance. You can extend the life of your fresh cut tulips by keeping away from direct sunlight and heat. During the night you should also try placing your fresh cut tulips in the coolest room in the house.  Doing so will help to prolong the life of your tulip arrangement.

Did you know that fresh cut tulips keep growing?  They can even gain an inch or more in height.  Tulips also grow toward the light which is why your arrangement may look different than when it was first purchased.  The spontaneous nature of tulips are a part of what makes them so popular. 

Spring is peak season for cut tulips. One cannot see a tulip without thinking about springtime which is why tulips are our March Special!  We will be receiving tulips flown in directly from Holland and ready for you to enjoy! 

 

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