KUSA - The trouble with tulips is that many of them aren't really suitable for life in Colorado. Many will bloom the first year but decline after that.
The most reliable of the big, showy tulips are the "Darwin hybrids." They bloom in May in a rainbow of colors, including yellow, red, orange, white, pink and purple. Some flowers are two-toned, such as red and yellow or white and red. The bulbs are long lived and may last indefinitely unless you live in deer country.
For best results, plant them in a sunny spot about 6 inches deep with the pointed end up. Rather than planting the bulbs individually, consider my method of planting them "bouquet style," with about five or six bulbs to a hole. The planting depth isn't critical; tulips have contractile roots that help them move up or down in the soil as they see fit.
Since you had to dig holes for the bulbs anyway, maximize the impact. Plant pansies directly on top of the tulips after you re-fill the holes. The tulips will emerge from a skirt of pansy flowers for a great spring display. Imagine yellow tulips paired with purple pansies, red tulips with blue pansies or orange tulips with yellow pansies. The possible combinations are extensive.
After planting, water in the bulbs and pansies well. The pansies may need supplemental watering in winter if we have prolonged dry spells.
Plants are courtesy of Tagawa Gardens.
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