Growing tulips in your garden is easier than you may have realized – particularly when you choose Giant Darwin tulips. Simply plant your bulbs in a sunny spot with well-drained soil at the right depth and add water. When spring comes around, you have masses of gigantic tulips up to 6” in diameter that will be the envy of neighbors that lacked your foresight!
A heritage range in a rainbow of colors
Giant Darwin Hybrid Tulips were bred by creating a cross between Fosteriana tulips and the old Darwin tulips. The result is a tall-stemmed tulip with absolutely enormous flowers in a range of truly astounding colors. They were first introduced into the US by a Dutch-born horticulturist back in 1951.
Today, Giant Darwin tulips remain among the US’s favorite flowers, both in the garden and the vase. It’s hardly surprising that they achieved this fame without extensive marketing. With their shapely, pointed buds and beautiful colors, the flowers speak for themselves!
Giant Darwin Tulip colors
Apart from vibrant mixtures such as the ‘Jumbo Darwin Mix’, you can get Darwin tulips in just about any color of the rainbow. The classic ‘Impression’ series including red, apricot, salmon and pink flowering tulips or the ever-popular orange and yellow bicolor ‘Banja Luka’ are among the single colors available to gardeners.
Scented forms such as ‘Daydream’ and ‘Ad Rem’ are examples of some rather unusual tulips that fall into the Giant Darwin class of tulips.
‘Perennial’ tulips and other cautionary tales
Giant Darwin tulips are often called ‘perennial’ tulips because they are among the tulip varieties best able to re-flower or naturalize. Some unscrupulous people try to market them as something ‘new’ with an enormous price tag to match. Meanwhile, they are old garden favorites, and although they are spectacular, they aren’t worth paying an inflated price for!
Another thing to watch out for is those who try to sell you undersized bulbs. They will offer you a low price, and since they haven’t taken the necessary time to produce top-quality, 12cm bulbs, they can afford to do so. At flowering time, you will be disappointed because the blooms won’t be ‘giant’ as they should be.
Facts and figures
Your Giant Darwin Tulips flower from mid-April to May, just after the earliest blooming varieties, and the flowers are 20 – 26” tall. You should space your bulbs 6” apart and plant them at a depth of 5”. Although you can grow them in warmer climates, they will be at their best in zones 3 – 8. Because they are so tall, it is best to look for a spot that isn’t subjected to strong winds.
Cut blooms can last up to 10 days. Pick them when the buds are tightly furled, yet showing color. When cut later, they may last for as little as three days. Never out of style Gardening fashions may come and go, but Giant Darwin Tulips are here to stay. They’re easy to grow, and offer you so many colors that you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. If you missed planting season for this year, make sure that you’re on the program by pre-ordering your bulbs in advance.
Never out of style
Gardening fashions may come and go, but Giant Darwin Tulips are here to stay. They’re easy to grow, and offer you so many colors that you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. If you missed planting season for this year, make sure that you’re on the program by pre-ordering your bulbs in advance.