Tulips are less commonly grown indoors than hyacinths or narcissi, but several varieties make good short-term pot plants. The early-flowering single and double types are best.
Singles include scented yellow ‘Bellona’; red ‘Christmas Marvel’; salmon pink ‘Apricot Beauty’; and ‘Flair,’ which is golden yellow with red feathering. Good doubles include orange-yellow ‘Marechal Niel’; white ‘Schoonoord’; and rose pink ‘Peach Blossom.’
Also attractive are varieties of the low- growing Tulipa greigii, with mottled foliage, and T. Kaufmann IANA, the water-lily tulip, with wide, open blooms.
Treat tulip bulbs like those of hyacinth and narcissus and give them a cool, dark period after planting so they will develop an adequate rooting system. Plunge the pot in the ground outdoors under a covering of peat moss or enclose it in a black plastic bag and stand it in a cool place.
ORIGIN Turkey; East Asia; hybrid.
HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm, depending on variety.
POTTING MIX Peat-moss-based or bulb medium.
REPOTTING Set bulbs close together in a pot in fall, with their noses just covered.
PROPAGATION Not practical for the amateur. Seedlings take 5-7 years to flower. Mature bulbs increase slowly by offsets.
KEEPING PLANTS Plant bulbs outdoors once flowering is over; it is not worth growing them for indoor use again.
Tulipa Hybrids Liliaceae Indoor House Plant CARE
- Give bulbs a cool, dark period of about 10 weeks after planting; bring them into the light when they have about 2in/5cm of top growth.
- Keep in a bright location during flowering.
- About 40 F/4 C for 10 weeks after planting; increasing gradually to about 55°F/13°C for flowering.
- Keep the medium just moist at all times.
- Give a balanced liquid feed every 2 weeks.