Growing Guide
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Tulip, Kaufmanniana cultivars

Spring-Flowering Bulb

Tulipa sp. Kaufmanniana cultivars
Liliaceae Family

Less than a foot tall but showy, Kaufmanniana Tulips usually are early bloomers with distinctive cup-shaped blooms with variegated bases. They may be a single color, or vividly marked with stripes, flames, feathers, or colored margins. The foliage is often showy as well, with purple, brown, or maroon striping and markings.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 7

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • rock gardens
  • indoors as a houseplant - Can be forced inside for winter bloom.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.5 to 1 feet

Spread: 0.25 to 0.75 feet

Bloom time:

  • early spring
  • mid-spring

Flower color:

  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • indigo
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage color:

  • light green
  • medium green
  • variegated

Leaves are medium to light green, often striped or marked with purple, brown, or maroon

Foliage texture: medium


  • upright
  • herbaceous: other

The leaves are semi-upright and spreading.

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers as cups

Blooms borne on upright flower stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Products of horticultural selection, mostly hybrids using Tulipa kaufmanniana, a native of central Asia.
  • fragrant - Some cultivars are fragrant.
Special uses:
  • cut flowers
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - Plant the bulbs 5" beneath the soil surface in the fall. After the leaves have died back following flowering, dig up the bulbs and allow them to mature in a warm, dry location. In the fall, replant large bulbs, and place the smaller bulbs in a starting bed to mature. When enlarged, plant them in the garden.

Maintenance and care:
Remove faded flowers, and do not remove the foliage until it has yellowed and begun to die back (up to 6 weeks).
These tulips do not perform well in Zones 7 to 9. To grow in these Zones, purchase cold-treated bulbs and grow as annuals. A few cultivars are suited to perennial warmer growth.

More growing information: How to Grow Bulbs

Slugs and snails

Bulb rot
Root rot
Gray mold
‘Ancilla’: 8” tall plants with very pale pink blooms washed with rose, with rosy-red basal rings on both sides of petals.

‘Corona’: 8 to 10” tall plants with foliage strikingly marked with purple. The blooms are pale yellow inside, bright red on the outside.

‘Early Harvest’: 8 to 10” tall plants with yellow-rimmed and -based deep rosy-pink blooms. The insides of the petals are yellow with orange-red markings. The foliage has violet markings.

‘Guiseppe Verdi’: 8 to 10” tall, early-blooming plants with thick yellow-margined red bloom. The insides are yellow with red basal markings.

‘Heart’s Delight’: 8 to 10” tall, early-blooming plants with pale-pink-margined, rosy-red blooms with yellow bases marked with red. The insides of the petals are white, The foliage has purple markings.

‘Johann Strauss’: 6 to 8” tall, early-blooming plants with golden-margined and -based wine-red blooms. Insides are white, and the foliage has purple markings.

‘Shakespeare’: 8 to 10” tall plants with yellow-based, rosy-peach-margined red blooms, with deep peach-pink insides flushed with red.

‘Waterlily’: 8” to 1’ tall plants with cream colored blooms tinted yellow on the outside, and heavily marked with yellow on the inside. The blooms open up in the sun and resemble waterlilies