100% Pure Seed. No Fillers. Non GMO.
How to Plant Wildflowers
Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds.
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more.
Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come.
Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more.
Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers.
Wildflower seeds native to your region. Support local wildlife with native wildflowers.
100% Pure Seed
Free shipping on all packets: No Minimum!
Why buy seed packets for your promotion or event
Save Up To 50% - Pre-Order Now
Perennial Planting Guide
Step by step instructions on how to plant your bare root or potted perennials when they arrive.
Spring Flower Bulb Planting Guides
Step by step instructions on how to plant your spring-planted flower bulbs when they arrive.
Let's Do Lawns Differently
Less water, less mowing, and no pesticides
How to plant a cover crop
Learn about varieties which help to replenish nutrients to your soil.
Thrives in areas with cold freezing winters and hot summers.
Thrives in areas with hot temperatures.
Looking for gardening ideas, information and inspiration?
Enter Our Photo Contest
It's time to show off your garden filled with American Meadows products!
What would spring be without tulips? The simple six-petaled rounded flower form in a gamut of glorious colors is an elegant herald of spring. Few plants offer such quick pleasure as to plant in autumn and yield flowers six months later.
With hundreds of tulip varieties available, how does one determine which varieties are right for your garden? Gardeners and growers use the USDA plant hardiness zone map to match tulip species best suited to their zone. When selecting bulbs from catalogs, read the descriptions and look for your hardiness zone. Specify your zone on the order form. County extension publications for each state also provide fact sheets on the best Tulipa species and varieties for your climate zone.
Once you know your zone and have determined the varieties that thrive there, factors such as flower color, form, height, and bloom time can be considered part of the garden design style.
For the connoisseur collector or those interested in replicating the history of tulips in the garden from their wildflower days to contemporary cultivars, the selection of varieties requires digging deeper into the geography of tulips in their native habitats and to the travels of the tulip in its “dance of domestication” and search for new rooting ground.
The wild tulip, ancestor to the garden tulip, is an alpine plant from Central Asia found clinging to hot desert mountain ridges in summer, buried in bitter cold snow-filled winters, and battered on windswept rocky steppes between northwest China and Turkey among some of the world’s highest, most unreachable, and inhospitable mountain ranges, Tien Shan and Pamir Alai. Tulips survived conditions of extreme temperature fluctuations, perfect drainage, and glaring sunlight. Mimicking these conditions in the garden is key to growing tulips and increasing their abundance. Wild tulips aka species tulips perennialize better than most other tulips. A few species tulips available commercially include:
For centuries wild tulips were the traveling companions of nomadic mountain tribes as they moved their grazing herds to seasonal pastures. As Turks established permanent settlements and with the rise and spread of the Ottoman Empire, tulips became a component of gardens for royalty and commoner. Turks began selective breeding from specimens collected throughout empire expansion. Traders and foreign diplomats took Turkish bulbs and seeds to Europe and Britain in the 16th century increasing commercial production of tulips there. Dutch colonists brought tulips to New Amsterdam by the 1640s and tulips flourished in William Penn’s colony by 1698. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew tulips on their estates.
Having the latest popular plant in your garden was a status symbol. In the early 17th century the Dutch became enamored with tulips, especially mysterious broken tulips. The flower’s color was broken into feathered and flamed patterns against a white or yellow background. These “designer” tulips were in demand and prices of bulbs soared. The market went out of control as people from all levels of society speculated on tulips. Some fortunes were made but when the market crashed many buyers and sellers went bankrupt. Tulip mania lasted from 1634 to 1637 but did not dampen the Dutch spirit for tulips. Today the Netherlands is the world’s top producer of tulips. Contemporary garden tulips bred for mass bedding displays in public gardens and for cutting gardens include:
Tulips lovers would not know that a virus spread by aphids caused broken tulips until the invention of the electron microscope in the 1920s.
Tulips make stunning statements with color when planted in mass for high profile places like parks, civic center, botanical gardens, roadsides, and tulip festivals. However, aside from mass planting schemes of large-flowered varieties for public places, the gardener can get acquainted with the tulip as an individual design tool up close and personal on the home front. As a design tool consider tulips in the following contexts:
About the Author: Jacqueline A. Soule, garden writer and popular speaker, has produced over 1000 gardening columns for local, regional and national newspapers and magazines. You can find her online at GardeningWithSoule.com
To learn more about the plants we sell and how to grow them in your garden beds and patio containers, sign up for our inspiring emails.