How Many Different Colors Do Tulips Come In?

Tulip colors
There are at least 3700 different varieties of tulips. And there are many different tulip colors too. Every year I photograph lots and lots of tulips at the Keukenhof Garden in the Netherlands and I can’t get enough of all the different shapes, sizes and colors. Have a look at the different tulip colors.

Different tulip colors:
White tulips – in the range from pure white to white with a more cream look. White tulips are perfect for stunning wedding bouquets.

Pink tulips – One of the world favorite tulip colors! From soft pastel pink to the hard pink (almost red) you can see them at Keukenhof. 

Red tulips – Red tulips are one of he traditional tulip colors but you can find a lot of tulip varieties in this red color

Orange tulips – Orange is the color of Holland and you can find orange tulips especially around Kings Day in the Netherlands.

Yellow tulips – the bright yellow tulips are very popular around the world. Combined with the traditional red tulips you can find them in gardens and tulip festivals around the world.

Green tulips – Green tulips look very different, it almost look that nature forgot to give their color to these flowers.

Blue tulips – blue tulips only exist by photoshop or paint. There are some tulips with blue in their name but those tulips are more purple than blue.

Purple tulips – Purple tulips are very popular especially when they are mixed with white or yellow colors.

Black tulips – Black tulips look rather unusual, their dark colors are not actual black but a very dark form of purple. But in the right light they appear black.

Duo colored tulips – Besides the solid tulip colors there are many tulip varieties that have two or more colors like red and yellow tulips or white and purple tulips.

Why Tulips Change Color

The tulip is a perennial flowering plant that grows from a bulb. Its genus, Tulipa, includes more than 100 species and has members that are native to parts of Europe, Africa and China. The blooms are noted for their variety of bold colors, including shades of red, pink, purple, yellow, and orange. They should be planted in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil and require regular watering. The flower itself is sometimes noted for its color change, which may be the result of environmental problems, health issues or age.

The most common cause of discoloration in tulips is age. Over time, petals may take on a lighter hue than in previous years and may change color altogether. Tulips and gladiolus are the most prevalent age-related color changers, though most flower varieties will fade over time. The cause of this fading is not known but is thought to be a method to indicate plant's health to potential pollinators. Since it is a natural process of aging, there is no way to reverse it; if growers want a bolder color for the garden, old plants will should be replaced.

Though not specific to tulips, stress may lead to slight or severe color changes in flowers. Stress may increase if the plant is transplanted or if optimal growth conditions are not met. Peonies, for example, have been noted to change from pink to white, and occasionally irises will do the same. The color may or may not return to normal once balance is restored; this depends largely on the species and the amount of damage done to the plant. Some plants will return quickly, while others may take a year or two, if it happens at all.

Breaking in a tulip is a term that references a non-genetic color pattern that develops on the petals of the flower. These patterns are the result of viral infections, which may become fatal if left untreated. Most often, light colored blooms will develop a dark mosaic pattern, while dark flowers will develop lighter stripes or flecks. These color changes and patterns will vary greatly and are not usually uniform, an easy indicator that a health issue is to blame. More than a dozen potential viruses may be responsible, either one at a time or in combination, including potato virus Y, cucumber mosaic virus and tulip virus X.

Sun and Temperature
Exposure to sunlight is a key ingredient to keep a tulip healthy and in full color. If too little sun is available -- tulips do best in full sun or partial shade, depending on the planting zone — the result may be a flower with dulled coloring. In some species, including tulips, cool weather will bring about more colorful blooms than warmer conditions.


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