Tulip La Belle Epoque is one of the most coveted flowers in the industry. A mid-season bloomer, these double tulips open to a washed out, caramel blush that's perfect for weddings. The fluffiness of the tulips is remarkable! People often mistake them for peonies.
Here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, these tulips typically flower for us in April.
Plant when your soil temperature is below 55 degrees. We don't typically reach this point until late November, but colder climates will get there sooner. Check your soil temperature with a soil thermometer.
If you plant your tulips before the soil has cooled, they will bloom on short stems.
These bulbs are not prechilled, so if you're in Zone 8 or warmer, we do not recommend them.
We recommend planting tulips 6-8 inches deep in well draining soil. Do not plant tulips in areas where standing water pools. Too much water will kill the bulbs.
Tulips are not particular about spacing. We plant ours just an inch or two apart, like eggs in a carton. We're growing for production, so we're trying to conserve space. In the landscape, there's no need to plant so close together unless you like that look.
Tulips are very easy to grow. After planting, they do not require any particular care -- just prevent animal nuisances that might eat the bulbs or flowers, and make sure the drainage is good.
Once the buds are visible, protect from late freezes with frost cloth or a bucket. These flowers are tough, so a little bit of frost won't hurt them. However, dips into the low-20s require extra protection only when the flower is in bud. (The rest of the time, they'll be fine unless you live somewhere extremely cold like Montana or Michigan, in which case, you're beyond our area of expertise. Seek advice from local sources.)
You can leave tulips in the ground after flowering. If you pick the flowers, they are unlikely to bloom the following year. They might come back eventually. If you are interested in growing cut flowers for production, treat these flowers as annuals. Also, rotate your planting spot every year as soil-bourn disease can build up over time.