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TULIPA 'Blue Bell'

Image of Tulipa 'Blue Bell'

International Flower Bulb Centre

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

TULIPA 'Blue Bell'

Plant Common Name

Blue Bell Tulip, Triumph Tulip

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Although not a true blue, the powdery violet or orchid-colored flowers of the Blue Bell tulip are about as true of a blue possible in tulips. The blue pigment remains elusive in tulip breeding. A Triumph hybrid tulip, 'Blue Bell' is highly regarded for its mid-season flowering on shin-high stems, the perfect size for garden and container uses. Perched on stems above broadly lance-shaped leaves, the elegant blooms have six pointed "petals" (more accurately tepals). The glossy tepals reflect light, causing them to have a faint bluish sheen. Tepal bases are white. A rather short-lived bulbous perennial, it is best treated as an annual. It flowers mid-season, roughly in early to mid-spring, depending on climate.

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 eight weeks 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. This cultivar is good for winter forcing in containers as well.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    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

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    14"-17" / 35.6cm - 43.2cm

  • Width

    10"-14" / 25.4cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lavender, Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No