There’s no doubt about it: tulips are iconic. There’s no other flower quite like them – and when you see their distinctive, colorful blooms appear in your garden each year, you know that spring has truly arrived.
Perhaps one of the reasons for tulips’ enduring popularity is the wide range of available varieties; these gorgeous flowers can boast all sorts of different color combinations and petal patterns. But among all these options, the vividly colorful Estella Rijnveld Tulip stands out – and it’s no wonder why. Read on to learn more about this unique and beautiful plant.
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Characteristics of the Estella Rijnveld Tulip
Since there are so many varieties of tulip, they are commonly classified into cultivar groups based on shared traits. With its serrated petal edges, the Estella Rijnveld variety of tulip belongs to the Parrot cultivar group. This particular group is defined by the delicately fringed petals of its blooms, a marked contrast from the smooth petal edges of other tulips.
This specific flower is also unique as it boasts a characteristic bicolor bloom of red (or sometimes deep pink) and white. The white sometimes takes on a creamy yellow cast before the bloom opens, and occasionally there are some green hues mixed in as well. The colors present in a distinctive striped pattern commonly referred to as “flames.”
If the striking color combination wasn’t enough to make the Estella Rijnveld Tulip stand out in a crowd, its size would definitely draw attention as well. This plant typically grows between 16” and 24” tall, with its blooms measuring in at 3” to 6” wide when open. The timing of its bloom also sets it apart from the rest of the pack; reaching its peak in May, this variety is relatively late-blooming for a tulip.
History of the Estella Rijnveld Tulip
If you’re a history buff, you probably know that gardeners have enjoyed tulips for centuries. Having been originally brought to Europe from Turkey and central Asia, the plant’s popularity reached new heights during the “tulip mania” of the Dutch Golden Age. While tulips are now grown all over the world, they still maintain a particular association with the Netherlands.
To meet the constant consumer demand for even more of these gorgeous flowers, florists have continued to cultivate new varieties over the years. Parrot tulips have been popular since the 18th century with their signature serrated petals. This particular heirloom variety was named after Estella Rijnveld, the woman who first cultivated it in 1954.
Ways to Enjoy the Estella Rijnveld Tulip
Of course, the main reason for planting this tulip is somewhat obvious: this beautiful bloom will look absolutely stunning in your garden. The bright colors truly pop and will be a gorgeous visual complement to any other flowers you plant.
Since it blooms a bit later in the season compared to other tulips, the Estella Rijnveld Tulip will keep the tulip magic going longer for you to enjoy. Also, seeing as its large blooms tend to attract many hungry bees, the other plants in your garden will benefit from having more pollinators around.
In addition to adorning your outdoor spaces, these blooms looks lovely when used to decorate your home as well. Once they’ve bloomed, the tulips can be gathered and cut for bouquets and flower arrangements. If you’re interested in growing this flower outside of the normal season, it’s also suitable for indoor forcing.
It should be noted that, like other tulips, the Estella Rijnveld Tulip is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses if consumed. This variety should not be ingested by people either, as it can cause severe digestive discomfort. Better to simply take them in with your eyes!
Growing Your Own Estella Rijnveld Tulips
So, have you fallen for the Estella Rijnveld Tulip yet? We can’t say we blame you! Let’s turn now to some tips for adding these beauties to your own garden.
Climate and Growing Conditions
Like other tulips, the Estella Rijnveld variety can thrive in either full sun or partial shade. This versatility and the fact that they can tolerate many different types of soil means that they can be grown in a wide range of places and spaces.
However, keep in mind that this tulip dislikes overly cold or wet weather, preferring a drier winter. While the occasional snowfall and freeze won’t harm the bulb, too many extreme temperature swings throughout the winter can affect the quality of next spring’s bloom.
Naturally, the first step on the way to enjoying tulips in your garden is to plant some bulbs. Estella Rijnveld Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, when temperatures are consistently in the 60s or lower. They will need 12 to 16 weeks of temperatures in the 50s or lower in order to bloom properly in the spring.
When you’re ready to plant, the bulbs should be placed 6” to 8” deep in the soil, with at least 6” in between each one. Make sure to plant the bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards.
While it’s more common to grow tulips in the ground, they can also be planted in pots if your climate doesn’t experience too many freeze/thaw cycles. If there’s a lot of variation in your winter temperatures, be sure that the pot you’re using is well-insulated to mimic the ground by keeping the bulbs at a more constant temperature.
Caring for Your Plant
To promote the greatest amount of growth, it’s best to fertilize your Estella Rijnveld Tulip twice: once in the spring when you first notice new growth starting, and again after it blooms.
Also, when considering the best way to keep your plant healthy, remember that slugs and snails can damage tulips. If you want to preempt this issue, you can apply slug repellant on a monthly basis after planting your bulbs to keep pests away.
As far as tending your plant goes, you can deadhead the flowers as needed. However, don’t cut back the foliage until it yellows and dies. Letting the foliage mature and die naturally contributes to the proper development of next year’s bloom, as the leaves continue gathering energy for the plant even after the bloom.
Where to Buy Bulbs
Estella Rijnveld Tulip bulbs can be purchased at a wide variety of garden centers and plant nurseries, as well as from many online stores.
Most retailers will allow you to select a specific bulb quantity, so that you can be sure to purchase the right amount for your specific gardening needs. Additionally, many online services will time their bulb shipments to correspond with the ideal planting window for your region.
A Brilliant Color Combination for Your Garden
The Estella Rijnveld Tulip is truly a tulip unlike any other. With its unforgettable red and white color combination, generous blooms, and charmingly fringed petals, it’s sure to look stunning in your yard, in an arrangement in your home, or in a bouquet for a friend. If you’ve been seeking a unique addition to your garden, you just may have found it here.
Interested in learning more about planting tulips? Check out some of our other posts on the subject!