Princess Irene (Tulipa 'Princess Irene') tulip bulbs will bring the welcome colours of a warm sunset to your early spring garden.
Soft orange in colour, each petal is flushed with a central purple flame. The large, long-lasting cup-shaped blooms are sweetly scented. Carried on short, sturdy stems, these flowers are ideal for more exposed sites, container growing and cutting.
Princess Irene works fabulously as part of our Tulip Naturalising Collection.
This is a fully hardy variety that will stand up to the onslaught of our April showers, thanks to its robust stems. It holds the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
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, especially so 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 donÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’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.
Princess Irene was first bred in 1949 and named after a Dutch princess.