Early-Blooming Tulipa Turkestanica

Tulipa Turkestanica is a whimsical little heirloom bulb that we planted two autumns ago. It is one of the first spring flowers to bloom in our yard & this year I think we’re enjoying it even more now that they’ve naturalized & spread a bit.



This sweet, botanical tulip blooms super early and is more compact than other tulips popping up this time of year. Hardy in U.S. Zones 4-8, Tulipa Turkestanica has a fun, forest flower look about them — we like that they bring a different feel to the spring garden than the typical tulips we tend to see this time of year. They are beautiful in rock gardens or in beds where you want a pop of springtime fun.

Approximately six inches tall, there are a cluster of eight blooms on each stem, sometimes a few more. The blooms are 1-2 inches wide and open fully when it is sunny. They close up a bit when it gets cloudy, then close all the way once nighttime arrives.

From a distance, the flowers are a creamy white with happy, bright yellow centers, but up close you’ll notice a hint of pale green and lovely pink tones as well, especially on the back of the pointy petals.

The green leaves with a hint of silver stay looking nice throughout the full blooming season. As with other flowers grown from bulbs, you should let the leaves wither down a bit before trimming them so that the bulb can obtain as much energy as possible before it naps underground waiting for next year’s growing season.

Last year, once the blooms were spent, the leaves on ours continued looking good for several weeks — way longer than we expected. I finally trimmed them back toward the end of June. Since these naturalize, there is no reason to remove the bulb from the ground unless you plan to move them to a new location.

They prefer a sunny spot in your garden — some sources say they can handle partial sun with a tiny bit of shade as well. They seem very happy in our well-drained bed. We’ve also read that they should be planted in a spot that isn’t too windy, but we haven’t had any issues during our Chicago area spring storms — these are tough little flowers!

We really like the way they dress up the corner of our garden bed where our patio meets the driveway…they really do look like something you would stumble across in a magical forest. Plus, they look lovely with the cocoa mulch that we use in this section of the yard!



What flowers are popping up in your neck of the woods this time of year? We’re always looking for new bulbs to try so drop us a line below if you have a favorite!

Happy Gardening!


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