Tulip Color Combinations

This fall gardeners across the country will plant tulip bulbs and then patiently wait until the following spring to see the results of their efforts.  It’s an astounding example of a gardener’s resolve. 

But the wait is always worth it, because nothing beautifies the spring garden like a bed filled with colorful tulips.

Thanks to Dutch hybridizers, tulips are available in an astounding variety of forms and colors.  In fact, there are so many to choose from it can sometimes be overwhelming.  Over the years I’ve learned a few things that help me design gorgeous tulip displays.

My first tip is to plant tulips in groups of 15 or more.  This will create a big block of color that is much more impressive than dots of flowers here and there.

Second, when selecting a location for the bulbs, pick an area where they will be cast against a dark background such as an evergreen hedge or the foundation of your house. If you have purchased more than one variety, plant the taller ones to the back and the shorter ones in the front.   

To extend bloom time select varieties that flower early, mid- and late season.  For example, a grouping of Single Early (early), Darwin (mid), and Lily-Flowered (late) will flower in progression over the course of several weeks.

When it comes to color, the sky is the limit.  You can’t go wrong planting several shades of the same color family such as a blend of almost white, pale pink, dark pink and salmon. 

If you are feeling adventurous tulips are a natural for trying out color combinations.  For the most exciting results allow one variety to take the lead and plant in a ratio of 2:1:1.  And be sure all the varieties you select bloom around the same time. 

Below is a list of some of my successful experiments and a few of the varieties that I have used to express them.

Tulips Menton, Perestroika and Temple of Beauty
Warm Blend
1. Pink 'Menton'
2. Orange-Red 'Temple of Beauty'
3. Salmon 'Perestroika'

Tulips Queen of the Night, Menton and Bleu Aimable
Cool Colors
1. Purple - 'Queen of the Night'
2. Rose-Pink - 'Menton'
3. Lavender - 'Bleu Aimable'

Tulips Maureen, Greenland and Pink Diamond
Quintessential Spring
1. Cream - 'Maureen'
2. Green - 'Greenland'
3. Pink - 'Pink Diamond'
 
Tulips Queen of the Night, Spring Green, Bleu Aimable
Purple and Green
1. Deep Purple - 'Queen of the Night'
2. Green - 'Spring Green'
3. Lavender - 'Bleu Aimable'

Tulips Francois, Spring Green, Maureen and Nemesia
Yellow and Blue
1. Yellow - 'Francoise'
2. Green - 'Spring Green'
3. Cream - 'Maureen'
4. Blue - Plant pansies or nemesia as show here in spring.


Other Possibilities:
Orange-reds
'Temple of Beauty' – Orange-red, 30" tall, Late Season Bloom
'Avignon' – Orange-red, 24"-28" tall, Midseason Bloom
'Generaal de Wet' – Orange-red, 13" Tall, Early Season Bloom

Salmons
'Perestroika' – Salmon, 30" tall, Late Season Bloom
'Lightening Sun' – Salmon, 20" Tall, Midseason Bloom
'Beauty Queen' - Salmon 16" tall, Early Season Bloom
'Dordogne' – Salmon, 26" Tall, Late Season Bloom

Pinks
'Menton' – Pink, 26" tall, Late Season Bloom
'Queen of Bartigons' – Pink, 22" tall, Late Season Bloom
'Palestrina' – Pink with green feathering, 16", Early Season Bloom
'Meissner Porzellan' – White with Pink Edges, 22" Tall, Midseason Bloom
'Glowing Pink' – Pink, 20" Tall, Midseason Bloom
'Elizabeth Arden' – Pink, 22" Tall, Midseason Bloom

Purples
'Lilac Perfection' – Pale Lavender, Double Flowers, 16" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Blue Amiable' – Lilac Blushed with Blue, 24" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Cum Laude' – Violet, 16" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Blue Parrot' – Bright Lavender, 22" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Queen of the Night' – Deep Purple, 20", Late Season Bloom
'Purple Prince' – Purple, 14" Tall, Early Season Bloom

Greens
'Spring Green' – Cream with Green Flames, 20" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Greenland' – Rose pink with Green Flames, 20" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Greenwave' – Pink with Green Flames, Parrot, 20" Tall, Late Season Bloom

Creams
'Francoise' – Creamy white with yellow flames, 24" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Maureen' – Creamy white, 26" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Mount Tacoma' – White Double, 20", Early Season Bloom
'Cream Jewel' – Opens Yellow and Matures to Cream, 24" Tall, Late Season Bloom

Yellows
'Cistula' – Pale Yellow with Darker Yellow Tips, Lily Flowering, 22" Tall, Late Season Bloom
'Sweet Harmony' – Crisp Yellow with Cream Edges, 24", Late Season Bloom
'Golden Melody' – Soft Yellow, 20" Tall, Midseason Bloom

Share this articlePrint this article
Related articlesSave this article in your favorites

Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.