Double tulips

Double tulips have multiple layers of petals, giving them a peony-like appearance. These fluffy puffball varieties are available in a wide range of colors, from soft pinks to rich purples and vibrant orange tones. Some cultivars bloom early in spring, while others are late-season bloomers. There are even some fringed double tulips!

Double tulips

Double tulip basics

Double tulips are tulip cultivars with many more petals than traditional cup-shaped varieties. While most tulips have only six petals arranged in one layer around the center of the flower, double tulips have additional petals circling around the center of the flower.

The extra petals give double tulips the appearance of a peony flower or even an old-fashioned rose as the tulip blooms open fully. Double tulips are sometimes called peony tulips.

Double tulips are generally classified as either double early tulips or double late tulips, depending upon when the variety blooms during tulip season. Double early tulips bloom from early spring to mid-spring, while double late tulips bloom in late spring. Double early tulips tend to have short, stocky stems about 8″-12″ (20-30 cm) tall, while double late tulips have taller, stronger stems about 12″-16″ (30-40 cm) tall.

Double tulips are wonderful spring bloomers for flower borders and for springtime floral arrangements. When used as cut flowers, they tend to last quite a bit longer than most tulips, sometimes lasting 1-2 weeks in the vase as they open fully. These varieties also tend to make great potted tulips and can be “forced” indoors for late winter blooms (especially if you already store your tulips indoors).

Double tulips - yellow and red

Growing double tulips

Double tulips are generally no more difficult to grow than traditional single-petalled tulip varieties. The stocky stems make these varieties somewhat resistant to spring rains and winds (although the fluffy blooms do catch quite a bit of wind and water in springtime storms).

Choose a planting location that receives full sun in the springtime (at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day). Also, seek out well-drained soil. Tulip bulbs do not thrive in heavily waterlogged soil and may not bloom if ponded water sits on top of the soil for too long. As for soil acidity, tulips grow well in soil with a pH of 7 (neutral). Nutrient-poor soil can be improved with a top-dressing of 1″ of organic compost.

Double tulip bulbs are generally planted about 6″ deep. They can be planted as deep as 8″ below the top of the soil in cold regions or as shallow as 4″ below the soil surface in warmer climates with only light frosts. A good bulb planter tool will make this job much easier. Bulbs can be spaced a minimum of 4″-6″ apart.

Water tulips deeply after planting. Cool fall temperatures will encourage the bulb to grow and root out into the surrounding soil. Once the tulip wilts, conduct pruning and deadheading processes to ensure healthy growth for the next year.

Double tulips in flower bed
Double tulips

Double tulip varieties

There are hundreds of varieties of double tulips in cultivation. That said, there are certain varieties that are extremely popular due to their attractive blooms and ease of cultivation. Here are some of the best cultivars to grow, grouped by color.

Purple double tulip varieties

Some of the best doubles are purple. Here are some gorgeous purple double tulip cultivars to grow:

  • Double Flag tulip (Double Early)
  • Black Hero tulip (Double Late)
  • Double Negrita tulip (Double Late)
  • Blue Diamond tulip (Double Late)
The best varieties of pink tulips

Pink double tulip varieties

Pink is another very popular color, as they almost look like pink peonies. Here are some pink double tulip cultivars to try:

  • Foxtrot Double tulip (Double Early)
  • Dreamer tulip (Double Early)
  • Angelique tulip (Double Late)
  • Finola tulip (Double Late)
Double red tulip

Red double tulip varieties

Here are some excellent red-petalled double tulips to grow:

  • Pamplona tulip (Double Early)
  • Scarlet Majesty (Miranda) tulip (Double Late)
  • On The Double Red tulip (Double Late)
  • Bull’s Eye tulip (Double Late)
  • Anfield tulip (Late Fringed)
Double tulips - orange blooms

Orange double tulip varieties

Try these stunning orange double tulips:

  • Monte Orange tulip (Double Early)
  • Willem van Oranje tulip (Double Early)
  • Valdivia tulip (Double Early)
  • Orange Princess tulip (Double Late)
Double tulips - cream yellow flowers

Yellow double tulip varieties

Here are some popular double tulips with yellow petals:

  • Secret Perfume tulip (Double Early)
  • Monsella tulip (Double Early)
  • Yellow Majesty (Yellow Pomponette) tulip (Double Late)
  • Frejus tulip (Double Late)
  • Ice Cream Banana tulip (Double Late)

White double tulip varieties

Here are some white-petalled double tulip cultivars:

  • Verona tulips (Double Early)
  • Ice Age tulip (Double Late)
  • Double Surprise tulip (Double Late)
  • Ice Cream tulip (Double Late)
Double tulips - pink blooms
Double tulip - golden yellow bronze flower
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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