There really isn't a flower more iconic (or easy to grow) for spring than the tulip. White tulips especially are one of the most elegant options for gardens and indoor arrangements during spring.
Rich, well-drained soil, average watering, and a bit of fertilizer will usually do the trick to make these flowers grow strong and with brilliant colors. However, different varieties may need a little extra TLC, so it's a good idea to learn about each kind of white tulip and their specific needs.
Keep reading to find out what makes white tulips truly happy and healthy!
White tulips would look perfect if you know how to plant them. Here are the best planting ideas!
1. Catherina Single
Soft, creamy white blooms are typical with this tulip variety. These are great for further back in your garden as they can reach up to 30 inches tall, making them one of the tallest tulips available. Plant these in the fall for late spring bloom, placing bulbs 6-8 inches deep with around 4-6 inches between bulbs. These tulips love some sunlight, so choose a spot with full sun. However, if you tend towards extreme heat you may want to make sure they have a bit of shade so the petals don't burn. The Catherina Single is a great choice for a cut flower.
2. Concerto Greigii
Creamy white petals with an ombre appearance, as well as purple marked or molted leaves, are a great indicator that you've got a Concerto Greigii tulip. One of the shorter tulips, topping out at only 16 inches, this is a great choice for the front of your garden. Plant these in fall mixed with earlier blooming bulbs and they'll take over the aesthetics of your garden border late in spring. These need 4-6 inches of space to spread out, so leave plenty of room when you plant. If you're looking for a tulip to force indoors, this is a great one to consider.
This gorgeous double tulip variety is known for the brilliant red and pink markings around the tips of its petals. These are late bloomers that would work well in either the mid-range spot or the far back of your garden bed since they stretch to 20 inches tall. These fluffy flowers need 4-6 inches of space, so plan accordingly when you plant in the fall. Full to partial sun is a must for Danceline tulips to have truly vivid colors, so check out how much sunlight your bed gets each day before you settle on a spot.
4. Exotic Emperor
These double tulips bloom early to showcase their feathery petals as soon as possible. The green on the outer petals serves to add an extra oomph to the flower, giving the garden a little something special. These only reach about 18 inches tall, so plant them towards the front of the bed. Full to partial sun is best for this royal tulip variety, with a little shade being appreciated if the sun gets intense in your area.
5. Flaming Flag Triumph
Orchid purple bleeds into white to make a stunning addition to your garden or bouquet this spring. These tulips are sturdy with 18-inch stems that can handle wind and rain from spring storms. Full to partial shade will help make the colors of this tulip bright and bold. Planting in the fall before the first hard frost hits will bring the Flaming Flag to your yard in mid-spring. Be sure to give this tulip 4-6 inches to spread out, while placing the bulb 6-8 inches deep to protect it from too much cold during the winter.
6. Ivory Florida Darwin
Great as a cut flower or for indoor forcing, the Ivory Florida Darwin is a beautiful creamy white that sometimes has a touch of pink to it. These grow up to 24 inches tall and blooms stretch out to 6 inches in diameter, making this one of the larger tulips available. Sturdy stems help it stand up well to spring storms. This tulip handles hotter springs better than many other tulips, but some shade for intense afternoons would be good to keep the fragile blooms from burning.
7. Mondial Double
This is another feathery flower with a peony-like structure. Great as a cut flower, this brilliant white bloom will appear earlier in spring for bright spring bouquets. You can also use this tulip variety for indoor forcing to create both a beautiful aesthetic as well as letting its pleasant scent fill your home. This is a shorter tulip, so if you plan for it to grace your garden make it a place along the border so its 16-inch stem doesn't get lost in taller plants.
Once known as the 'White Emperor' tulip, the Purissima has soft white petals with a yellow base and center. This variety returns reliably, so it's great for a perennial garden. The sweet scent of this tulip also makes it a great option for a cut flower to add some spring freshness to your home. These tulips need to be planted in the fall before the first frost, and 6-8 inches deep to protect the bulb from severe cold temperatures. The Purissima will bloom in early spring and has a 12-18 inch stem, perfect for a garden border.
9. Sapporo Lily
The pointed petals of this late-blooming tulip give it its lovely lily-like appearance. The unique petal structure is elegant, but it can also make this variety easily damaged in hard rains and strong winds. To avoid ruined flowers, plant your bulbs somewhere that's got a bit of shelter. Like any tulip, though, it does love the sun and needs a good amount each day. This is a taller tulip and grows up to 24 inches tall, making it a great addition to a bouquet or the back edge of a garden bed.
10. Signature Fringed
Fringed edges to the Signature Fringed tulip give a unique twist to any garden, though this particular variety works really well as a cut flower. If you choose to leave this one in your garden, though, plant it back away from the border. The long, 22-inch stem will help it peek over shorter plants. The Signature Fringed tulip blooms in late spring and needs plenty of sunlight to grow strong and healthy, as well as produce the beautiful creamy white color it's known for.
11. Spring Green
A unique white and green tulip, the Spring Green has a long-lasting bloom that appears in late spring and stays into early summer. These have sturdy stems that can withstand spring weather as well as making it a great choice for a cut flower. The 20-inch stem lets it fill in the middle section of both vase arrangements and garden beds. Full sun with partial shade will protect this tulip from the more intense heat that settles in during late spring and early summer while still producing brighter colors.
12. White Triumphator Lily
These brilliant white blooms appear in mid to late spring. Plant this along the border of your garden for a pretty edge or use these as cut flowers for a unique look in your vase or bouquet. The stem on this tulip can grow up to 24 inches tall, making it a taller variety than most tulips. A spot in the yard with full sun and a little shade is perfect for the White Triumphator Lily, and a good 4-6 inches between this plant and others ensures it has plenty of room to spread out as it grows.
13. Pays Bas
A sturdy tulip variety, the Pays Bas can stand up to heavier rainstorms once they bloom in mid-spring. They have shorter stems, making them ideal for garden borders, but they still stand out with brilliant white blooms. These tulips are also good for cut flowers as their stems will give them a longer vase life before they droop. When you plan your garden in the fall, make a spot for these flowers where they'll get plenty of sunshine yet still have some shade during the hottest part of the day.
14. Pim Fortuyn Triumph
A brilliant white bloom makes this tulip a knockout option for mid-spring. The traditional cup shape of the tulip bloom helps it stand up to heavy rains and spring storms. This variety of tulip is also hardy for indoor forcing, allowing it to thrive when others might not. This is a shorter tulip as its stem only reaches around 18 inches or so at best, so plan for this in borders and the outer edges of flower arrangements. A good amount of sun will keep this tulip happy and thriving, but some shade to protect it from intense heat is also a great idea.
15. White Prince
The White Prince is one part of a dream-team trio of 'Prince' tulips: the Yellow Prince, the Purple Prince, and the White Prince. It makes for a good cut flower, and its shorter 14-inch stem is sturdy in a vase. This tulip blooms in early spring and produces a soft creamy white flower. When planting the White Prince make sure it will get plenty of sunlight while also locating it in an area with partial shade to ensure the delicate petals don't burn.
White Tulips in Spring
These tulips are brilliant and add an elegant ambiance to any garden, indoor container, or flower arrangement. The many varieties that are shown here have a lot in common, but each has its own quirks that it's important to know to grow them well. Make careful note of which are more fragile, which are sturdier and can withstand spring storms, and which should stay in a garden bed versus a vase.
Manage your tulip tools with these outdoor storage solutions.