Nature gives us many signs that Spring is upon us. One sign of Spring when the tulips rise out of the dirt, and display their wonderful, natural beauty.
To me, nature brings the most beautiful and fascinating wonders of this world. I have many flowers throughout my yard, and I have one patch of tulips in the front of my home. Watching them open wide on a sunny day, or observing how their blooms stay tightly closed as it rains, gave me the desire to learn more about the beautiful flowers.
If you like flowers, or are fascinated by the wonderful works of nature, read on to find how nature springs tulips.
Where you can find tulips
Tulips are native to mountainous areas with moderate climates. They thrive in climates with long, cool springs and dry summers. Tulip bulbs require at least 12 to 14 weeks of cold weather, which occurs naturally when temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and stay that way for at least three months. This means that tulips won’t naturally grow in warm weather climates.
Once the temperature warms above 60 degrees, tulips begin showing signs of growth. Leaves and flowers start growing at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on the location of the tulips as well as the weather determines when tulips will bloom, but typically early tulips will bloom during March and April. There are also mid-season and late-blooming tulips that bloom later in the Spring.
This is why tulips are associated with Spring, as that’s when they show off their beauty.
The largest grower of tulips is the Netherlands. Approximately 90% of the world’s tulips come from the Netherlands. Their tulip market comprises approximately 10% of the Netherlands’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Holland’s location and climate make the country an ideal spot to grow the Spring flowers. The tulip fields in Holland are simply magnificent, as they come in such a wide array of colors.
Tulips on the move
Tulips are one of many flowers that open and close. It’s amazing to watch how nature works, and how the flowers take care of themselves.
The scientific name for the opening and closing of blossoms, is nastic movements. This term also includes the folding and unfolding of leaves. Different flowers respond to different environmental factors when determining movement, including daylength and weather.
Tulip flowers open and close in response to heat and light. Tulip petals fold in at night, or on a rainy day to keep their pollen dry. When the flowers open back up, the pollen is ready for the insects to carry.
Isn’t nature amazing?
Tulips are fleeting flowers
Tulips are a fleeting beauty in the Spring garden. If the temperatures remain mild, tulip blooms can last 1-2 weeks. Heat is not a tulips friend though, as in warmer weather their blooms will last no more than a few days.
To extend the time to view tulip blooms in your garden, try planting a mixture of early, mid-season and late-blooming bulbs. This way you can enjoy the tulip’s beauty for several weeks.
According to Dutchgrown.com, miniature tulips are usually the earliest to bloom, followed by mid-season types such as Darwin tulips, with late-blooming varieties such as Parrot tulips to provide you with a grand finale display.
When to plant your tulip bulbs
Although tulips are Springs’s glory, their bulbs should be planted in the fall. Depending on the climate you live in, tulip bulbs should be planted somewhere between September through December. Six to eight weeks before a hard ground-freezing frost is the best time to plant the bulbs.
I remember as a child, my mom planting tulip bulbs right before winter. I couldn’t understand planting something when every other plant around was going into a dormant state. In my childlike state, I was truly amazed when the beautiful blooms popped out of the ground the next Spring.
Enjoy the flowers
Whether you plant tulips or not, try to get out where you can enjoy these beautiful flowers while they last.
Stepping out in nature is in itself such a mood lifter, and there’s no time like Spring to visit nature. Not only will you see tulips in full bloom, but you can experience all things in bloom, waking up from their winter sleep.
If you don’t live in a climate where tulips grow, or don’t have a chance to experience the changing of the seasons, get outside anyway. Visit a florist, and buy yourself a nice bouquet of tulips or other flowers.
Enjoy the flowers beauty as much as you can, while you can. Because nature springs tulips only once a year.