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Single Tulips 101 | Varieties, Availability, Care & Ordering

Here at Holex Flower, we adore Tulips. We are proud to be one of the major suppliers of the most iconic flower from Holland. And we wish to share this love with the rest of the world. By offering all the Tulips you could ever wish for in our webshop, of course. But also by telling you as much about this beautiful flower as possible. From Single Tulips to Parrots!

Here we are going to tell you all about Single Tulips. You could call them the Godfather of the Tulip varieties that are available for wholesale. We’ll tell you why this is so, and everything else that you need to know.

Jump to:

What are Single Tulips?

Buyer’s Choice: Favorite Single Tulips

Where do they grow?

When are they in season?

How are they grown?

The Beauty of Single Tulips

All about beautiful single Tulips

What Are Single Tulips?

Single Tulips are, in a sense, the “most natural” of all the Tulip varieties. In other words: they have been (cross-)bred less than most of the other cultivars. This also means that of all Tulip cultivars, Single Tulips are the best suited for transport. In other words: Single Tulip varieties are the strongest and sturdiest Tulips available for wholesale.

You could say that Single Tulips represent the first Dutch Tulips, that paved the way for the Netherlands to become the prime exporter of Tulips. You can still marvel at a large selection of these ancient Tulip varieties at Hortus Bulborum.

Buyer’s Choice: Favorite Single Tulips

We asked our Tulip buyers for their 5 favorite Single Tulip varieties, making up the “Holex Flower Single Tulip Top 5”.

Tulip Dynasty

Single Tulip Dynasty

Often used as an eye-catcher in designs, centerpieces, and other arrangements. Its bright pink color makes it pop out of anything.

Tulip Strong Gold

Single Tulip Strong Gold

If there is one Tulip that screams “spring is here”, it is the Strong Gold variety. It does its name honor, being a strong Single Tulip variety. When the sun shines on a field of these beauties, you can understand the gold part as well.

Tulip Ile de France

Single Tulip Ile de France

Very popular for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, where it can compete even with red Roses as the perfect flower to give to those you love the most.

Tulip Royal Virgin

Single Tulip Royal Virgin

Beloved for weddings, because of its pure white color and the strength, which makes it perfect for bouquets.

Tulip Ad Rem

Single Tulip Ad Rem

Looking for elegance? Then look no further. Ad Rem is an excellent choice for high-class events that are in desperate need of a flowery centerpiece.

All the Single Tulips You Need are Just One Click Away

A Little History of Tulips

The very first Tulips didn’t originate from the Netherlands, as many people think. Tulips originate from Turkey. The widely accepted theory is that they were introduced in Northwestern Europe by an ambassador for Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. This ambassador was fascinated by the flowers that were blooming in “almost midwinter, a season unfriendly to flowers”.

After the first Tulips were cultivated in the Netherlands, however, their popularity really began to take off. This went so far that early in the 17th century, better known as our Golden Age – a Tulip mania spread through Holland that ultimately broke the market. Bulbs had become so expensive that they were used as a form of currency of their own.

“The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” – Rembrandt van Rijn

This Tulip mania even led to a certain Claes Pieterszoon – a surgeon and mayor of Amsterdam – to change his name to Nicolaes Tulp. You might have seen him in a famous painting of Rembrandt van Rijn: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

Today, Tulips are still amongst the most popular flowers from the Netherlands. This makes our little country the main producer of commercial Tulip plants, producing as many as 3 billion bulbs annually. The majority of those bulbs are exported, making it an economically important product. Because of that, growers have continuously been experimenting and breeding to find new Tulips.

This led to the many Single Tulip varieties that we can offer you today, but also the other spectacular types of Tulips.

Where Are Single Tulips Grown?

Many of our Tulips still come from big farms in the Netherlands, France, and Italy. Single Tulips from these countries normally offer the best quality in color, strength, and vase-life.

To expand the season in which Tulips are available, they are now also being grown in Chile and New Zealand. Because the seasons in these parts of the world are mirrored to those in Western Europe, this has about doubled the time when Tulips are available.

When it’s spring in Holland and Tulips are flooding our fields, it’s fall in New Zealand, which means the growers are preparing their bulbs for winter. Then, fall starts in the Netherlands and the availability of good bulbs is shrinking. This is when bulbs from New Zealand start coming in, transported to the Netherlands to grow in the Dutch greenhouses.

The quality is still that of the very resilient Single Tulips, but most of the time it is a little bit less when compared to those from (bulbs from) the Netherlands, France, and Italy.

When Are They In Season?

In this day and age, it’s mostly possible to get Single Tulips throughout the year, thanks to the above-mentioned broadening of growing regions and new ways to preserve bulbs. However, the best months to order high-quality Single Tulips are still from February till May.

The product range is broadest in those months, and the tulips are being grown from bulbs that were prepared here. This cuts the need for transportation and extra cooling, which is necessary for the bulbs coming in from overseas. Outside of them, concessions on available colors and quality must be taken into account.

For up-to-date availability of specific varieties, you can always check our webshop.

How Are Single Tulips Grown?

There are three common ways of growing Tulips:

  • Directly in water
  • Using a layer of potting soil
  • In full soil

Single Tulips are mainly grown using the former two. Of these, the method of growing Single Tulips in water is the fastest (roughly twenty days) and therefore the cheapest. Growing them on a layer of pot soil results in Tulips that developed a little more slowly, and are therefore stronger and a little more expensive.

Here you can watch a video that we made at our trusted grower, Niels Kreuk. This is how Single Tulips are being grown on water.

Water breeding of Tulips in action!

As a comparison, here are some pictures showing you the other techniques.

Tulips being grown in full soil in a greenhouse
Tulips being grown in a layer of potting soil

The Beauty of Single Tulips

Here, you can see the beauty of Single Tulips for yourself, as it is combined with other flowers to form a beautiful winter design. Want to learn how to make this? You can find the step-by-step tutorial here.

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