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The tulip is a plant native to Asia and the Middle East introduced in Europe around the fifteen hundred. Currently this plant represents a great resource for Holland; Dutch flower growers grow and send bulbs selected for flowering all over the world. These are so important to the Dutch economy that the government instituted the tulip festival, which is celebrated on May 1st. In fact, those who visit Holland at that time can enjoy the sight of thousands of hectares of tulips in flower widely cultivated together with hyacinths, narcissus and other bulbous species that are exported from this country all over the world. The most interesting species and varieties of these bulbous plants for those who want to brighten up the garden and the terrace in spring can be classified into different groups. Early flowering varieties: include those with large flowers almost always red with a black center. Medium-flowering tulip: include varieties with medium-height stems and beautifully colored flowers in both plain and mottled colors; hybrids with tall stems and generally two-colored huge flowers.
Late-flowering variety: this group includes most of the varieties on the market and in particular the lily-flowered tulips, almost always single-colored with curved outward-facing petals, the peony-flowered, double, with large flowers and compactness of the petals; the late tulip that include a large number of varieties of colors in the most tenuous and intense shades; the parrot tulips, with a high stem, with jagged petals and brushstrokes of contrasting colors, sometimes of three or four different shades.

How to grow tulip flowers

The cultivation of bulbous plants in general is very easy since it does not present the problems of sowing, transplanting and topping which involve the flowering plants obtained from a seed. In particular, the tulip is the easiest to grow among bulbous plants because the bulb, originating in regions with clayey and dry soils, grows well in normal soil. Before preparing to plant the bulbs in flower beds or in boxes, it is convenient to prepare the soil conveniently, enriching it with a part of peat and a part of sand. Then take the bulbs and bury them so that they are covered by at least four or five centimeters of earth. Once completed this operation provides a good watering. If the planting was done in boxes, they should be left outside. Before the winter cold it is advisable to cover the earth with the boxes with straw, wood shavings, dry leaves, removing all this material when, in spring, the bulbs will have vegetated and will present a bud outside the earth. The boxes must then be placed in a brighter and sunny position, periodically watering them, until the flowering ends. When at the end of the flowering the leaves begin to turn yellow, the bulbs must be removed from the soil, putting them to dry in the shade and cutting leaves and dried roots, the bulbs will be kept in a box full of sawdust in a cool, dry place and you can use them in the following autumn buried here and there in the garden. They will bloom again in spring, but with smaller flowers; some species will give two or three flowers per bulb.

Forcing tulips

Tulips, like many other bulbous plants, can be forced to have an early flowering at home compared to the normal flowering time obtainable outside. To obtain this result, it is sufficient to bury them in pots and expose them to the outside until the first colds, then the pots are brought indoors, in rooms at a temperature of eighteen / twenty degrees and are constantly watered every two or three days. For about a week the pots are covered with a plastic sheet until the shoots reach about ten centimeters in height, therefore they expose themselves to the light, near a window, obviously removing the covering and always keeping the jars at a temperature of about twenty degrees .

Curious about tulips

In the fifteen hundred they were paid for a single bulb astronomical figures and the speculation on them made the fortune and the ruin of some traders. At that time it was thought that tulips were edible: they were treated with sugar to make fried desserts and eaten like vegetables. After all, the Dutch, especially in times of famine, have eaten it even in more recent times.
Within a few years the tulip bulbs became objects of exchange and speculation and the merchants gathered in a place called bag to handle the buying and selling of the bulbs. Today, however, there are several species of tulip, but the Dutch growers' association has established a classification scheme for all currently existing varieties and has grouped them into fifteen categories. The modern varieties and the hybrids currently cultivated are different from those cultivated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In fact, at that time the tulips took viruses that created color mutations in particular on the petals where streaks appeared. The tulip is a flower known all over the world, so much so that it is present in some series of stamps issued by Russia, Turkey and the Netherlands itself.


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