Tulipa Sprengeri

On a whim last October, I ordered seeds of Tulipa sprengeri; seduced by images of this scarlet species tulip, which is said to naturalise and self-seed well, although bulbs are not commonly available.

I sowed the seed into two pots and placed them outside. One pot I left to overwinter beside the greenhouse, while the other I brought indoors onto a warm windowsill in the depths of winter, then recently moved back outside again, exploring the premise that alternating periods of heat and cold would help their germination.

Tulipa sprengeri germinating

While the indoors-outdoors pot is still barren, a couple of weeks ago I spotted that the pot by the greenhouse showed several small green shoots pushing their seed case up towards the sky.

I’m excited at watching these tulips germinate. How interesting it is that those left to their own devices have won the race against those subjected to false conditions. It will be a few more years before these tulips are flowering – this is certainly slow gardening – but no less thrilling for that.

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13 thoughts on “Tulipa Sprengeri

  1. Never cease to be amazed with what you can sow, Sara.
    p.s. have enjoyed catching up with all your other posts too. Bit of a while since I visited the hill and Spring is very much in evidence.

    • Thanks Laura, yes Spring has certainly sprung here. With the lighter evenings and such fine weather we can finally get out for an hour or two in the evenings, so we are making progress once more.
      I am thrilled that these tulips have come up from seed.

  2. Well done, Sara. There was one tulip at the Priory when I started. One single flower and yep, it was t. sprengeri. This year there were two! Ooh the excitement! Dave

    • Ah. Well, if the place were only to have one tulip, that’s a good one to start with! You may have to give it a hand spreading then – or perhaps in a year or two a whole river of red will burst into colour that had been building up and biding their time from that one lone parent…

  3. We sowed some T. sprengeri last spring-they’ve been out all year, and are now emerging. Wonderful.

  4. Not sure I’ve got the patience to grow tulips from seeds, but I can understand your excitement. I spotted some sage seeds that had germinated this morning. The packet suggested they needed quite a bit of warmth to germinate but as I don’t have a heated propagator I wasn’t sure they’d work, but they have some I’m really chuffed.

    • They won’t stop me from planting other varieties in bulbs (those lovely Tulipa sylvestris, for example) and then one day I will gaze out at a sea of red tulips and know that I raised them, which will be rather special.
      Great that your sage didn’t need mollycoddling, it’s always a thrill when something that you half-expect not to succeed springs into life.

  5. I have some of these seedlings – germianted about 3 years ago! This year they have slight leaves on them

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