Tulip Symbolism and Meaning

There are a few common meanings behind tulips. The most common tulip symbolism is that the tulips stand for true love or pure love. Another common meaning behind tulip flowers is tied to the fact that they bloom in the spring, making them a symbol of new life.

No matter which meaning you like more, the flower itself is only part of the symbolism. Colors have their own meanings as well, and when you pair a color with the flower, the symbolism becomes even more meaningful. With so many different types of tulips, you can easily find just the meaning you’re hoping to express.

How to plant tulips in your garden:

  1. Wait until the soil is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. In the North this will be in September or October, in the South in October or November.
  2. Pick a spot in your garden that has well-draining soil and gets full sun or partial shade.
  3. Plant the tulip bulbs about 5-7” deep and 4-5” apart, placing them in the ground with their pointy ends up.
  4. Water well once and wait for spring
  5. After the tulips have bloomed don’t cut off the foliage. Leave it until it’s completely withered and yellow, then remove.

Where Do Tulips Come From Originally?

As with any question of origin, the answer to where tulips come from is quite long and complicated. Taxonomically, the tulip flower is a member of the lily (Liliaceae family) and its genus itself contains around 75 species. Due to this, there is actually a huge swathe of land where it could be said that the tulip comes from originally.

Its natural environments stretch from modern-day Turkey right across Central Asia, as well as including parts of Southern Europe.

Thus, it was the Ottoman Empire based around Turkey, the Middle East and Arabia which became the first to significantly cultivate tulips and make them part of their culture. In fact, the name tulip itself comes from the Persian word for turban. It was the style in the 15th and 16th century for fashionable Ottoman officials to wear a tulip in their turban, but when foreign diplomats asked about the flower, they were given the name of the garment, a tulben, instead, thus reporting back to Europe that that was the name of the plant.

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