Atlantis (Tulipa 'Atlantis') tulip bulbs produce fabulous bicolour blooms of amethyst and soft gold, edged delicately in white.
The large, cup-shaped flowers appear in late April/early May and have a lovely fragrance. Each bloom is supported on a single tall stem (up to 40cm) with blue-green foliage. The heart of the flower guards an eye-catching surprise - a blue-violet centre.
Strong stems mean that this variety will stand up to some exposure. Plant them in areas where you will appreciate their scent, either in beds near paths or in a container near your door.
Bring them indoors to fully experience their fragrance, or enjoy them in beds and borders as part of our Tulip Naturalising Collection.
Tulips like to be planted in the colder weather of October/November. Plant the bulbs 15-20cm deep in well-drained, fertile soil, 10-15cm apart. (If planting in clumps, allow 7-9 bulbs per 30cm square; in pots, a dozen bulbs per 12-inch container will give an excellent display.)
They will tolerate most soil pH, preferring neutral to slightly acidic, but good drainage is the key. This is especially important in containers; they like moisture, but must not stand in water. Tulips would always choose full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.
Don't feed the plants during the growing season as this will tend to produce leggy growth. If planting in containers, protect the pots from severe frost/wind by wrapping them up in straw or bubble wrap, or simply storing in the garage. Containers must be watered in dry periods leading up to flowering.
Dead-head the flowers once they have faded and remove the seed pod, but don't cut the foliage back until it has died down naturally as this will impede flowering in following years. Tulips should continue flowering for several years unattended.
If you wish to extend their life, lift the bulbs once the foliage has died right back. Clean and dry them, then store in boxes or net bags in a cool, dry place for re-planting the following autumn.
Keep a watchful eye out for slugs and snails as the plants emerge - take all your usual precautions until they are growing strongly.
Squirrels have a passion for digging up freshly planted tulip bulbs! If you know this will be a problem in your garden, plant them deeper than usual (30cm should foil their efforts), or cover the freshly dug hole with some chicken wire.
Tulips get their name from the Ottoman Turkish word 'TÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â¼lbend', meaning 'turban', as the shape of the flower resembles the headdress that is commonly worn in the Middle East.