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TULIPA 'Big Smile'
Big Smile Tulip, Single Late Tulip
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Walk into a massive field of Big Smile tulips and you'd be surrounded by lemon yellow flower heads at tall as your waist! A member of the single late (or "Mayflowering") hybrid tulip class, it was developed by breeder W. van Lierop & Sons and introduced in 1990. Perched atop very tall stems above broadly lance-shaped leaves, the elegant blooms have six pointed "petals" (more accurately tepals). A rather short-lived bulbous perennial, 'Big Smile' is best treated as an annual. It flowers in the mid-season for tulips, roughly in mid-spring, varying slightly by climate. Overly warm springtime temperatures shorten the flowering display.
Tulip bulbs are a favorite food of small mammals including voles, and their succulent leaves and buds are favored by deer. Deep planting (at a depth of four to five times the bulbs' width) and underground barriers (such as buried hardware cloth) can discourage bulb predation. Interplanting with daffodils or other pest-resistant bulbs may deter both below-ground and above-ground pest damage.
Despite these problems, tulips are generally easy to grow. They prefer full to partial sun and require average to fertile soil with good drainage. Leave the lower foliage of perennial tulips after they bloom, so they can collect and store energy for next spring’s display. Once the leaves start to yellow, cut plants to the ground. Hardiness is cultivar/species dependent, but most require at least two months of chilly soil conditions across winter in order to bloom in spring.
Tulips are unsurpassed for bringing spring color to containers or sunny gardens. Be sure to consider height and bloom time when designing with them as these vary greatly from cultivar to cultivar. It is also wise to plant extra for cutting as they make superb long-lasting cut flowers. Big Smile tulips grow so tall that they're not a good choice for forcing in containers.
8 - 1
3 - 8
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Bulb or Corm or Tuber
Full Sun, Partial Sun
26"-32" / 66.0cm - 81.3cm
12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm
Single, Double, Semi-Double
Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
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