Dwarf Tulip. Care, Cultivation, Planting. Description, Varieties, Photo

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Dwarf Tulip. Care, Cultivation, Planting. Description, Varieties, Photo
Dwarf Tulip. Care, Cultivation, Planting. Description, Varieties, Photo

Video: Dwarf Tulip. Care, Cultivation, Planting. Description, Varieties, Photo

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Tulips are the favorite spring bulbs. In many respects, they owe their popularity and status of an "inviolable" plant to a very large assortment. There are hundreds of tulip species and thousands of varieties. And if all attention is traditionally distracted by bright and beautiful varietal hybrids, then species plants are not so popular. But they have something to boast about. At least - unpretentiousness, endurance and no need for annual digging. One such underestimated natural species is the charming dwarf tulip. The touching crumbs are perfect for a pot garden and alpine slides.

Dwarf tulip "Helena"
Dwarf tulip "Helena"


  • Dwarf tulip - a miniature miracle with touching flowers
  • Conditions required for a dwarf tulip
  • Planting dwarf tulips
  • Wintering a dwarf tulip
  • Pest and disease control

Dwarf tulip - a miniature miracle with touching flowers

Tiny wild-growing tulips, which are classified as dwarf tulip, can be found in the highlands of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. In the wild, they always settle on rocky slopes, which determines excellent characteristics for their cultivation in rockeries and rock gardens. Dwarf tulips belong to the subgenus Eriostemones. These are drought-resistant, very easy-to-grow species of plants, which will pleasantly surprise you with their beauty and unpretentiousness.

Dwarf tulip (Tulipa humilis, we sometimes refer to it as a low tulip) is a type of medium-sized tulip that grows only in high mountains. All parts of this plant are surprisingly compact. The maximum plant height is limited to 10 cm. Dwarf tulip bulbs are limited to a maximum size of 1–2 cm in diameter.

The shape of the bulb is ovoid, on the covering golden-yellow-brown scales you can find a few, but original hairs at the top and base, creating a kind of fringe. By it, you can distinguish the bulbs of this plant from other tulips (although usually dwarf tulips do not need such a careful check: they are rarely replaced with other species for sale, they are so special).

In a dwarf tulip, only 3, very rarely - 5 leaves are formed. Unlike most larger tulips, the foliage of this species is linear and sometimes practically lies on the ground, separating from the stem already at the very base (in a protected place, the leaves do not lie down).

The leaves are miniature: from 5 to 12 cm in length, they never exceed 1 cm in width, upon close examination, they surprise with a wavy edge and an almost matte, bright green or silver-green color. In favorable conditions, plants can be decorated with a purple border, there are also some varieties with reddish leaves.

Blooming a tiny tulip is one grace. The flowers might seem rustic, but their refinement fully compensates for the lack of pretentiousness. Each bulb sometimes produces 1, rarely 2 strong, but thin peduncles. The narrowed base and strongly convex top of the flower slightly resemble crocuses.

The bell-shaped flower, when opened, turns into a bright star-shaped flower with pointed petals and a very bright, wide spot in the pharynx. Usually it is lemon, but there are also dwarf tulips with a blue "bottom" bordered with a white stripe. The inner tepals are adorned with a beautiful medium vein, approximately twice as wide as the outer tepals.

The outer side of the flower is whitish or white, with a brownish-purple bloom on the "back" of the petals along the outer edge. A distinctive feature of the flowering of a dwarf tulip is that the stamens, even in the same bulb, under different conditions and under different lighting conditions, can differ in color, be either yellow, or black, or multi-colored. Anthers and filaments also change in daughter plants.

Blooming of dwarf tulips begins in the first days of May (if the spring is warm). It cannot boast of its duration, but even a few weeks give a magical sight. Many varietal plants bloom in late May and June.

Dwarf tulip "Persian Pearl"
Dwarf tulip "Persian Pearl"
Dwarf tulip "Alba Coerulea Oculata"
Dwarf tulip "Alba Coerulea Oculata"
Dwarf tulip "Liliput"
Dwarf tulip "Liliput"

The dwarf tulip, like any other tulip, has many attractive varieties, however, there are far from hundreds, but less than a dozen. It is better to choose them, focusing on decorative characteristics, palette and individual tastes.

Among the varieties, you can find double flowers, almost like dahlias, thin-petal forms, varieties with an asymmetric flower structure resembling daylilies (three triangular inner lobes are combined with reed outer ones) and various blue variations in the color of the bottom of the throat.

The best varieties are rightfully ranked as:

  • "Alba Coerulea Oculata" with a dark blue throat and a double flower resembling crocuses or miniature daylilies;
  • "Odalisque" is a cherry-lilac variety with a yellow throat and bright golden stamens;
  • "Lilliput" is a scarlet-red variety with rather narrow petals, with a black base and a dark blue-violet throat;
  • "Tete-a-Tete" - a terry scarlet variety, somewhat reminiscent of parrot tulips in miniature;
  • Persian Pearl is a dark lilac-pink variety with a wide lemon “bottom” and very narrow leaves;
  • Eastern Star is a mauve variety with a bronze outer side of the petals and lemon throat;
  • Violacea is a bright purple variety with a yellow-black fawn.

The color palette of dwarf tulips includes both bright and delicate colors. Among them there are white tulips and plants with a light pink tone, crimson, carmine, purple varieties. No other tulips have such a palette of purple: as if they took the colors from the basic palette of acrylic paints.

Dwarf tulip "Tete-a-Tete"
Dwarf tulip "Tete-a-Tete"
Dwarf tulip "Violacea"
Dwarf tulip "Violacea"
Dwarf tulip "Eastern Star"
Dwarf tulip "Eastern Star"

In the design of the garden, dwarf tulips are used:

  • as potted plants;
  • in complex container compositions for balconies and terraces, stone flower girls;
  • on alpine slides and rockeries;
  • in the design of portable rock gardens;
  • for distillation;
  • in groups on the lawn;
  • in flower beds on the terrace;
  • in the foreground of flower beds.

The best partners for dwarf tulip: ornamental cereals (especially fescue and hare tail), sedum, saxifrage

Conditions required for a dwarf tulip

The rules for the selection of lighting for this type of tulip are no different from the selection of conditions for any other tulips. The dwarf variety prefers sunny, bright areas, warm and protected from drafts and winds.

But the requirements for the soil of a dwarf tulip are somewhat different. It can be planted both on flat areas and on slopes. He loves loose, light soils more than his relatives, and in this regard is a typical plant for decorating rock gardens. Stagnant water or high groundwater levels are unacceptable.

Alpine slides for tiny tulips create ideal conditions, since the drained loose soil eliminates the risk of waterlogging. The higher the nutrient content of the soil, the better. Loam and sandstone are ideal for dwarf tulip and its varieties, but any other soil can be adjusted by adding peat, organic fertilizers and sand (in sandy soils - clay) when planting. Drainage is desirable. The reaction of the soil should be slightly alkaline or at least neutral (pH - from 7.0 and below).

When growing in containers, either a special substrate for bulbous plants or a universal substrate for potted plants is selected. High drainage is laid at the bottom of the tanks. Dwarf tulip containers should only be placed in well-lit areas.

Dwarf tulip "Odalisque"
Dwarf tulip "Odalisque"

Planting dwarf tulips

The best time to plant dwarf tulips is the last decade of September and the first decade of October.

Dwarf tulips are usually planted in individual pits or small pits - islets sufficient to accommodate a group of 8-10 bulbs. It is best to use the netting method to keep out rodents, but you can also plant directly into the soil. The planting process is standard for all tulips: the bulbs are buried so that a distance equal to three times the height of the bulb itself remains from the top of the soil to the bottom. For such tiny bulbs, the standard planting depth is in pits 4-6 cm deep.The planting distance is about 10 cm.

Before planting, it is advisable to pickle the bulbs in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour (a classical concentration of 0.5% is sufficient). The bulbs are planted immediately after pickling.

In the ground, the bulbs are installed strictly vertically, bottom down, gently, without pressing.

With the onset of the first frost, planting is necessarily mulched with any available materials, creating a layer of peat, compost, leaves, substrate about 6-8 cm high.

Dwarf tulip care:

  1. Close inspection of plantings in early spring with the excavation of plants with signs of disease.
  2. Top dressing with full mineral fertilizers during snow melting, during budding, and potassium-phosphorus fertilizers at the peak of flowering or immediately after it.
  3. Watering in drought during budding and flowering (under dry conditions, the plant may not bloom, the rest of the time watering is not needed).
  4. Weeding with a slight simultaneous separation of the soil at the very beginning of leaf growth.
  5. Regular inspections of plants during flowering to detect signs of damage.
  6. Removal of peduncles and yellowed foliage.

This type of tulip does not need to be excavated annually (unless you want to propagate them). Dwarf tulips can grow in "colonies", on average they are dug up and divided every 3-5 years, but if they have enough space and flowering does not suffer, then digging can be carried out only as needed, much less often (up to 10 years). After digging, the bulbs are dried, sorted, stored in cool and dark conditions that are standard for tulips.

Wintering a dwarf tulip

This type of tulips is completely winter-hardy; from the second year of cultivation, it does not even need mulching (zone 4a). When buying tulips, it is still better to clarify exactly which maximum negative temperatures the plant can withstand: many imported varieties on the market have frost resistance limited to 18-20 degrees and they require shelter (unlike acclimatized varieties and the basic species).

Dwarf tulip (Tulipa humilis)
Dwarf tulip (Tulipa humilis)

Pest and disease control

This is one of the most hardy tulip species and can only be damaged if growing conditions are severely disturbed in stagnant damp conditions or if stored improperly. With waterlogging, gray, root, soft, white rot is dangerous. If there are signs of damage, it is better to destroy diseased bulbs as soon as possible.

These tulips are often favored by rodents, so it is better to plant them in mesh baskets or take measures to combat rodents in the cold season (placing traps, trampling snow).

Dwarf tulip breeding methods:

  1. Seeds (varieties do not retain their characteristic features, but the basic species can be propagated this way) according to the standard method.
  2. Daughter bulbs, which are simply separated during digging and planted as independent plants.

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