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The Fringed Tulip

Sun-loving tulips are famous for their vibrant colors and enthusiastic springtime growth. Planting these flowers at home is an easy way to liven up your outdoor space.

What makes the fringed tulip stand out amongst thousands of other varieties? Its distinctive fringed petals give it an extra flair that’s perfect for lovers of all things frilly, fancy, and sophisticated.

Read on to learn all about this unique tulip variety, including where to buy bulbs and all the planting supplies you might need.

Looking for fringed tulip bulbs? Check availability.

A tulip is a bulbous plant in the genus Tulipa. White tulip with fringed petals. ''Honeymoon''.

Characteristics of the Fringed Tulip

The fringed tulip is a category of tulip cultivar groups distinguished by their uniquely fringed petals and ornamental flowers.

Flower Appearance

In mid to late spring, fringed tulips produce green buds that blossom into large, full blooms in a variety of vibrant colors.

The highly distinctive feature that all fringed tulip varieties share is the serrated or ruffled edges of their petals. The flowers also tend to be fuller and rounder than many other types of tulips with oval, star- or bell-shaped blooms.

Plant Traits

The bright to dark green stems of fringed tulips are firm and tend to be quite long. Plant size varies by cultivar, but most fringed tulips will grow to a height of between fifteen to thirty inches.

The large, sparse leaves on a fringed tulip also vary in shape and color from one cultivar to another. Some have deep green leaves while others feature blue-green, white-edged, or variegated foliage.

History of the Fringed Tulip

Estella Rijnveld Tulip flower closeup

Fringed tulips are hybrid flowers whose namesake trait results from a genetic mutation.

Various categories of tulips have been hybridized to select for this petal shape mutation. This is why fringed tulips come in such a vast array of colors.

Several fringed tulip cultivars originated in France before being imported to the Netherlands, where they were further cross-bred and cultivated.

Uses for Fringed Tulips

Planting fringed tulips is an easy way to brighten up your outdoor space. But you can also cut your tulips and make great use of them indoors, as well.

Make Your Own Tulip Arrangements

Pulling together a simple, sophisticated tulip arrangement can be easier than you’d think.

You can, of course, incorporate fringed tulips into all kinds of stunning bouquets with other flowers and foliage. But for an easy project that goes from garden to tabletop in less than ten minutes, try following these steps below.

1. Select Your Vessel

First, pick the vase or other vessel in which you will display your cut tulips. A clear vase allows you to showcase both the lovely blooms of your fringed tulips as well as their tall, tidy stems.

Choose a vase with a width you can fill completely. With too much space, cut tulips are more likely to droop outward over the rim.

Wash and dry your vessel, then fill about a third or less with room-temperature water mixed with cut-flower food.

2. Clean and Cut the Flowers

To determine where to cut your fringed tulip stems, hold them up beside the vase. You’ll want to trim stems to approximately the full length of the vessel.

Using a sharp, clean knife, cut the stems on an angle. Remove any leaves that start growing below the water line.

3. Fill the Vase

Pack your cut tulips into the vase tightly, lined straight up. When you release them, they may curve and lean upon each other in a slight spiral pattern.

Even cut tulips will reach for sunlight, so they’ll gradually swoop to face the nearest lightsource. Watch and enjoy as they move and rearrange themselves throughout the day!

4. Refresh Water Daily

Keep your arrangement clean and healthy by draining and replacing the water daily. Cut tulips prefer shallow water.

You can also recut the stems in small increments daily to keep the arrangement fresh longer. Well cared-for tulip arrangements should last four to seven days.

Candied Tulip Petals

Did you know that tulips are edible? And the ornate, ruffled edges of the fringed tulip’s colorful petals make them perfect for use as fancy garnishes.

Try this easy recipe for candied flowers. These are perfect for decorating cakes or cupcakes. You can also float them on top of any garden-fresh cocktail for a pop of color and touch of elegance.

Grow Your Own Fringed Tulips

Red fringed tulips (Tulipa) Valery Gergiev bloom in a garden in March

Obsessed with fringed tulips now? Good news: growing these beauties is super easy!

Keep reading for simple instructions to get started.

Growing Conditions

Tulips can grow well just about anywhere with adequate sun exposure.

Full Sun Placement

For the fastest growing and most vibrant tulips, plant where they’ll receive at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight.

Live in a warm climate with high springtime temperatures? Consider partial shade placement to prevent scorching temps from burning the plant’s leaves and delicate petals.

Compatible Soil Types

You can grow tulips in many different types of soil, as long as it is well-draining.

For best results, plant your fringed tulip bulbs in nutrient-rich, well-draining, sandy soil.

Planting Tulip Bulbs

Plant tulip bulbs in fall for springtime growth.

The best way to plant bulbs is with a bulb planter. These helpful tools ensure your bulbs are buried at a consistent depth, so your plants will all grow to the same height.

In addition to growing tulips in your garden beds, you can also grow them in pots. Check out these simple instructions to get started planting tulip bulbs in pots.

Water Needs

Soak tulip bulbs well when planting.

When growth begins in the spring, provide your fringed tulip garden with minimal additional water only if weekly rainfall is not sufficient.


Always use clean, sharp garden shears to prune your tulips.

Cut at the base of the stem only. Pruning your tulip plant yields lovely cut flowers to enjoy and also encourages regrowth.

Learn more about pruning techniques, tools, and best practices at our complete guide to pruning.

Common Pests and Diseases

Keep reading for information about pests and diseases that commonly afflict tulips, including treatment and prevention tips.


Tulips can attract a variety of common pests including aphids, bulb flies, mites, caterpillars, snails and slugs.

For a safe, non-chemical way to counter an aphid or mite infestation, consider releasing ladybugs in your tulip garden.

Destructive slugs, snails, and foliage-feeding caterpillars like to hide out in weedy, leafy, or debris-filled areas. Remove these creatures immediately if you see them in your tulips. And keep your garden clean and free from weeds and groundcover to prevent infestations of shelter-seeking pests like these.


Tulip breaking virus is a very common disease that results in color variegation on the petals, often appearing as stripes or streaks. TBV weakens tulips and, over generations, will result in plants too weak to produce any blooms at all.

Tulip fire is a common fungal infection that causes withered, misshapen, and brown-spotted leaves. It may also produce fuzzy gray mold that grows over dead parts of the plant.

Bulb, root, and stem rot are other common problems to watch out for. Symptoms that manifest in the above-ground plant begin with wilting and yellowing foliage. Rot is commonly caused by overwatering or by planting bulbs too deep in the soil.

Dig out and properly dispose of tulips that are affected by any of the above diseases.


Handling and planting your tulip bulbs carefully is an important preventative measure to protect your tulips from pests and disease. Injury to the bulb structure can increase vulnerability to infection as well as infestation by invertebrate pests.

Where to Buy Fringed Tulip Bulbs

how to plant tulip bulbs in pots

Ready to get started on your new fringed tulip garden?

Here’s a gorgeous variety of fringed tulip bulbs you can order online now.

Time to Start Your Fringed Tulip Garden!

Now you know all about fringed tulips and some fun ways to use these unique and beautiful flowers. Order your bulbs today, pick out that sunny spot to plant them, and get ready to enjoy the visual treat!And learn about other tulip varieties, tulip care, and growing tips on our Tulips page.