A flower that lasts a long time means your garden or home looks beautiful for a long time. And that flower is the Cummins Tulip. With a prolonged blooming time, this tulip provides seasonal pleasure with its eye-popping color and striking appearance no matter its planting location.
Keep reading to learn about this frilly and vibrant tulip and how you can enjoy it after planting its bulbs!
Looking to buy Cummins Tulip bulbs? Check availability.
Cummins Tulip Characteristics
The goblet-shaped blossoms on a Cummins Tulip are about 4 inches wide and have a white and soft interior. The petals range from blue–purple to lavender–purple with serrated white edges that look like ice crystals.
Under the pollinator-friendly and sweetly fragrant blossoms are grey–green oval or lance-shaped leaves. Combining the blossom and its sturdy and upright stem, the tulip reaches up to 18–22 inches tall.
Cummins Tulips may look beautiful, but beauty can be deceiving. If you have a cat or a dog, this tulip may not be for you since it’s toxic to them.
The Cummins Tulip is also toxic to humans. Eating it would cause discomfort, not to mention every part of it may cause an allergic skin reaction. So if you’re harvesting it, wear garden gloves and long sleeves for protection.
Brief History of the Cummins Tulip
The Tulipa Cummins goes by several names, such as Fringed Tulip, Crunchy Cummins Tulip, and Spring Bulb. Its name is also reversed as Tulip Cummins.
In the Netherlands, this tulip was hybridized from the two cultivars Johann Gutenberg and Canova and introduced in 1999.
Fringed tulips such as the Cummins Tulip are popular tulips among gardeners—not just in the Netherlands—for their long bloom life.
Where to Buy the Bulbs
Would you like to beautify your garden with these easy-to-grow tulips? Check your local nursery or garden centers for their bulbs.
You can also purchase the bulbs at Nature Hills, our trusted online retailer for trees and plants.
Learn to Grow the Cummins Tulip
Cummins Tulips require full sunlight but will also accept partial shade. They thrive in hardiness zones 3–8 and should be planted in the fall 6–8 weeks before the first frost.
Because the petals tend to hold water, plant the tulips in sheltered areas so the blossoms won’t be weighed down. These areas should also protect the tulip from strong winds.
Soil and Spacing
The Cummins Tulip requires rich, fertile soil, whether loamy, chalky, or sandy, that drains well and won’t freeze solid. Check that the soil’s pH level is 6–7 with a test meter before digging the holes.
Plant a bulb with the pointy side facing upward in a hole that’s 6–8 inches deep. If you’re planting more than one bulb, space out the holes 4 inches apart from each other.
Growing in Pots or Containers
You can grow Cummins Tulips in pots or containers, especially if you’re growing them indoors. To do this, you’ll need to force the bulbs. Forcing tulip bulbs means getting them to flower even if it’s not their season to do so.
Chill the bulbs for 12–16 weeks at 35–45 degrees Fahrenheit. Afterward, fill a pot or container with the appropriate soil 3–4 inches below the rim. Place the bulbs pointy-side up and fill in the rest of the soil around the bulbs until their tips show.
Water and Fertilization
The Cummins Tulip doesn’t like wet soil, so it won’t need water very often. But you’ll need to water it as soon as you plant the bulb. Other times would be if you’re experiencing a dry fall or a prolonged drought or once the stems’ leaves appear.
If you’ve potted your Cummins Tulips, water them once a week to keep the soil from drying out, but don’t overwater.
Fertilizer isn’t required for the Cummins Tulip unless the soil lacks nutrients or there’s less growth than there should be. Twice a year, fertilize the tulips with a balanced fertilizer or bone meal.
Pruning and Harvesting
Deadhead your Cummins Tulips by removing their faded and dead flowers just above the first leaf with pruning shears. This is so they won’t use up the tulips’ energy and prevent next year’s blooms.
Late spring is when this tulip blooms. Perhaps you have a vase and want to add some visual pleasure to your kitchen. When the outer petals sport a hint of color, don your gardening gloves and cut the main stem with gardening shears.
You can also harvest the bulbs, too, but ideally when each Cummins Tulip is dying. Dig an 8-inch-trench around the tulips and lift out the bulbs. Handle them with care as you clean them with a paper towel.
Ways to use the Cummins Tulip
If you plant Cummins Tulips, try planting them in groups of 10 or more. Besides planting these tulips, mix in some other flowering bulbs to make your garden or patio more colorful. Cummins Tulips even make fabulous border plants along your garden’s edges!
The elegant blooms and long stems make these tulips ideal as cut flowers in a vase and bouquets—lovely floral arrangements. And if you cut them for a bouquet, diversify them with Honeymoon Tulips, as they pair well with this variety.
You could also give away your harvested Cummins Tulip bulbs so family and friends can grow their own tulips!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I store my Cummins Tulip bulbs?
Wrap the bulbs individually in newspapers after you’ve harvested them and cleaned off the dirt, rot, and worms. Then place the bulbs in a mesh bag and store them somewhere dark and dry for three months.
Afterward, place the bulbs in a refrigerator or where the temperature remains below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As you wait for fall before the first frost to plant them, inspect for any moldy or shriveled bulbs. During that time, replace the newspapers when they rot.
2. Is the Cummins Tulip an annual or a perennial tulip?
This tulip is known as a perennial, but that depends on how you harvest it. If you pull up the entire flower (bulb, leaves, and stem), the tulip becomes an annual flower.
However, if you leave the bulb underground with two sets of leaves when harvesting, the tulip remains a perennial flower. Next season will have a new tulip blooming.
3. What are certain pests and diseases to look out for when planting Cummins Tulips?
Slugs, deer, aphids, bulb flies and mites, and caterpillars are a few pests that will feast on your Cummins Tulip. Ward them off by planting firm bulbs, clearing your soil, and installing a high fence. You can also spray insecticides like Monterey Bt and Neem Oil or wash off pests with a hose.
Diseases like tulip fire, crown rot, and breaking virus disfigures and discolors the leaves, petals, and bulbs. Preventative and treatment methods include purchasing tulips from a reputable grower, removing wilted or blighted parts, and spraying fungicides.
The Long-Lasting Novelty Cummins Tulip
Whether you plant the Cummins Tulip indoors or outdoors, you’ll be awarded a long period of beauty every year. And with the few ways you can enjoy this tulip after planting it, share that beauty with your family and friends!
Visit our Tulips page page to learn more about other tulip varieties and ways to use and enjoy them.