Potted Tulips: In Living Color

Did you know that the Skagit Valley, just 60 miles north of Seattle, produces more tulip, iris and daffodil bulbs than any other county in the US? Not surprisingly, the area also hosts a huge spring tulip festival. We love tulips here in Washington State!

Tulips come in every color of the rainbow, but the “greenest” variety you’ll find are potted tulips, with their recyclable bulbs. A truly colorful and beautiful display, potted tulips are available in two types - in full bloom, or as bulb gardens. There are advantages to each.

Full Bloom: Instant Delight

If you need a quick gift, or a fast, all-in-one table decoration for a spring brunch, potted full-bloom tulips are a great choice. Popular colors usually available include yellow, orange, red, pink and white.

Once the blooms have faded, you (or the recipient) can cut back the leaves (leave several inches to help nourish the bulbs) and plant the soil or moss containing the bulbs right into your garden. Because the tulips have been encouraged to bloom fully in nurseries, much of the bulb’s energy has gone to producing flowers quickly. The spent bulbs will have extra work to do to grow again next spring. But they will try!

Bulb Gardens: Patience Pays Off

If you want “green” flowers that will last longer than a gift bouquet, tulip bulb gardens are the way to go. They’re usually less expensive, too.

A container full of barely-sprouted bulbs is more durable and easier to ship to yourself or others than fragile flowers. And if you keep one at home near a window (it’s best they stay out of all-day direct sun) you’re invited to a daily show of one of nature’s miracles – tulips coming to life!

Another advantage of bulb gardens is that since they grow at their own speed, the bulbs retain more nutrients. The bulbs are much more likely, after planting, to happily rebound and bloom the following year.

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