25 Tulips to Plant in the Fall for Your Prettiest Spring Garden Yet

Burning Heart tulip flower
Photo: Justin Hancock

Choosing the most beautiful tulips to plant can be challenging because each one seems more breathtaking than the next. These spring-blooming bulbs come in just about every color of the rainbow and range from the classic flower types to petal-packed peony tulips and frilly parrot types. Pick from these popular tulip varieties for an unforgettable spring show.

01 of 25

Negrita

pink tulips Negrita flower
Peter Krumhardt

This tulip variety's large deep purple petals look stunning in garden beds or borders, especially when planted with orange- or yellow-flowered spring-blooming plants. 'Negrita' has strong stems that hold up to wind and rain, and also make it a popular cut flower.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 16 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

02 of 25

Prinses Irene

Prinses Irene tulip flower
Andy Lyons

With uniquely colored blooms and floral fragrance, 'Prinses Irene' never fails to impress. The flowers have orange petals with vibrant purple markings in a classic tulip shape. It's also an ideal spring bulb for forcing into bloom early.

Bloom Season: Early to mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 14 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulip 'Prinses Irene' ($14 for 12, White Flower Farm)

03 of 25

Sweetheart

Sweetheart yellow white flowers tulip
Bill Stites

This fosteriana tulip variety has large lemon-yellow petals tipped with white. The long-lasting, fragrant flowers combine easily with other bulbs and spring-blooming plants. Here, 'Sweetheart' is shown with 'Mercato' daffodil. You'll definitely want to show off this beauty in a vase.

Bloom Season: Early to mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Sweetheart Tulip Bulbs ($14 for ten, Burpee)

04 of 25

Zurel

Zurel purple white flowers tulip
Justin Hancock

Boldly colored triumph hybrid 'Zurel' has large white blooms with deep purple streaks. It has strong, sturdy stems, perfect for creating stunning spring cut flower arrangements.

Bloom Season: Mid to late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Zurel Tulip Bulbs ($11 for 10 bulbs, Hudson Valley Seed Company)

05 of 25

Unicum

Unicum orange flower tulip
Peter Krumhardt

Perhaps the boldest tulip in spring, 'Unicum' offers bright red-orange flowers and gorgeous cream-striped foliage. This is one of the best perennial tulips that reliably comes back every year and bears several blooms per stem.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall

Zones: 3-8

06 of 25

Menton

Menton tulip
Peter Krumhardt

This single late hybrid variety is one of the latest tulips to bloom, so plan on it appearing in late April and May. 'Menton' bears pink flowers with orange and salmon tones, accented by white stripes. Its large flowers and long stems make it a wonderful cut flower.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

07 of 25

Fusilier

Fusilier tulip
Andy Lyons

A showstopper each year in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden, 'Fusilier' is a species tulip that produces up to four red-orange blooms on each stem. Plant these low-growing bulbs to add bright spring color to a rock garden, along a path, or at the front of a flower bed.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Praestans Fusilier ($12 for ten, Dutch Flower Bulbs)

08 of 25

Estella Rijnveld

Estella Rijnveld tulip
Andy Lyons

Frilly and fabulous 'Estella Rijnveld' is a parrot tulip with bold red and white flowers that have fringed and twisted petals. The large blooms and long stems make for beautiful cut flowers, but they don't hold up well to wind or rain, so plant this variety in a sheltered location.

Bloom Season: Mid to late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 24 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Estella Rijnveld Tulip ($16 for eight, Breck's)

09 of 25

Black Parrot

Black Parrot tulip
Jay Wilde

Add a little smolder to your spring garden with the dark blooms of 'Black Parrot'. Its fantastically fringed and twisted petals makes it one of the most show-stopping tulips available. This parrot type tulip resembles the colorful feathers of the tropical bird of the same name. However, their beak-shape buds are what earned them their moniker.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 inches

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulip Bulbs Black Parrot ($30 for 12, The Home Depot)

10 of 25

Montreux

Montreux yellow tulip
Lynn Karlin

Kick off spring with 'Montreux', an early-blooming tulip variety that offers double, ivory-yellow flowers. Double hybrid tulips look almost like peonies, adding a soft, romantic-style flair to the garden.

Bloom Season: Early to mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

11 of 25

Angelique

Angelique pink tulip
Peter Krumhardt

Perhaps the most elegant of tulips, 'Angelique' bears fragrant, double, pink flowers that look like peonies. This sturdy beauty holds up well as a cut flower. However, double tulips' large, heavy blooms can be damaged by rains and strong winds, so plant them in a sheltered location or grow them in containers that you can easily protect during storms.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulips Bulbs Angelique ($30 for 12, The Home Depot)

12 of 25

Pink Impression

Pink Impression tulip
Bill Stites

An all-around excellent Darwin hybrid tulip variety, 'Pink Impression' bears vibrant pink flowers in May and is another spring favorite in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden because it never fails to impress. It's also one of the most popular varieties to grow for cut flowers thanks to its tall, strong stems and large flowers. With proper bulb care, these beauties will return year after year.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 22 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

13 of 25

Burning Heart

Burning Heart tulip flower
Justin Hancock

It's no wonder striped tulips were among the most valuable during Holland's tulip-mania in the 1600s. 'Burning Heart' is an exceptional selection with creamy blooms streaked with bold red. This Darwin hybrid tulip is one of the tallest tulips with blooms that can reach 6 inches in diameter when fully open. It's also one of the best perennial tulips, which means it will likely come back and flower again for several years after they were first planted.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 22 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

14 of 25

Big Smile

Big Smile tulip
Peter Krumhardt

After growing 'Big Smile', you'll understand why it earned its name. The big, golden-yellow flowers are perfect for cutting and a cheery way to close the tulip season. This single late hybrid has long stems and looks most stunning when planted in groups or with other spring-blooming bulbs.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 26 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Big Smile Tulip ($13 for 12, Breck's)

15 of 25

Tulipa tarda

Tulipa tarda tulip yellow
Bryan McCay

One of the best tulips for naturalizing, this wild species offers thin leaves and golden flowers with white-tipped petals. Because Tulipa tarda is a species tulip, it tends to reliably come back every year and blooms longer than most hybrid types.

Bloom Season: Early spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 4 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulipa tarda ($7, K. van Bourgondien)

16 of 25

Tubergen's Gem

Tubergen's Gem tulip
Peter Krumhardt

Sometimes called the candlestick tulip, 'Tubergen's Gem' has rich red outer petals and sunny yellow inner petals, resembling a candle flame. This low-growing species tulip is one of the best choices for naturalizing, meaning it will slowly spread around an area where you plant it.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall

Zones: 2-10

17 of 25

Tulipa linifolia

Tulipa linifolia red tulip
Peter Krumhardt

This short but sweet species tulip is easy to fall in love with. Tulipa linifolia produces bright red blooms early in the season. When its petals open, they reveal a dark, purple-black splotch at the base of the flower. Also know as flax-leaved tulip, this low-growing wild type naturalizes well, so plant it once and enjoy it for many years to come.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Linifolia ($7 for ten, Dutch Flower Bulbs)

18 of 25

Lilac Wonder

Lilac Wonder pink yellow tulip
Peter Krumhardt

A dainty yet distinctive pink tulip variety, 'Lilac Wonder' flowers open to reveal a bright yellow blotch at the base. It's a reliable perennial variety that often produces more and more flowers each year.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Lilac Wonder Tulip ($10, Breck's)

19 of 25

Tulipa kolpakowskiana

Tulipa kolpakowskiana yellow tulip
Roy Inman

An heirloom species tulip, Tulipa kolpakowskiana offers small, bright yellow flowers, with red streaks on the outer petals. An added bonus: It often produces more than one bloom per stem.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Kolpakowskiana ($8 for ten, Dutch Flower Bulbs)

20 of 25

Tulipa turkestanica

Tulipa turkestanica white tulip
Peter Krumhardt

This fragrant species tulip bears up to 12 white blooms with golden centers on each stem. Tulipa turkestanica reliably returns each year where the bulbs are hardy, and grows well under deciduous trees and shrubs.

Bloom Season: Early spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Tulipa turkestanica ($10 for ten, DutchGrown)

21 of 25

Persian Pearl

Persian Pearl tulip
Peter Krumhardt

Count on 'Persian Pearl' to return every year. This colorful little beauty offers magenta-rose blooms with a bright yellow center that's revealed on warm, sunny days. It's also a deer-resistant plant.

Bloom Season: Early spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulip Persian Pearl Bulbs ($22 for 25, The Home Depot)

22 of 25

Queen of Night

Queen of Night tulip
Jay Wilde

Appearing in late spring, 'Queen of Night' offers some of the darkest flowers found in a tulip. Its velvety, deep purple flowers are perfect for providing contrast along a colorful flower border or in a fresh flower arrangement.

Bloom Season: Late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Tulip Bulbs Queen of Night ($27 for 12, The Home Depot)

23 of 25

Burgundy Lace

Burgundy Lace red tulip
Peter Krumhardt

Deep wine-red blooms and fringed petals give 'Burgundy Lace' a delicate beauty all its own. The rich color stands out among most other spring blooming plants, and these tall tulips have very strong stems that hold up well in rain or wind.

Bloom Season: Mid to late spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 26 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Burgundy Lace Fringed Tulips ($6 for 12, Holland Bulb Farms)

24 of 25

Fancy Frills

Fancy Frills pink tulip
Jay Wilde

This pink-flowered tulip variety lives up to its name with its lacy-looking petal edges. Plant these bulbs with blue grape hyacinths for a stunning color combination.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 16 inches tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Fancy Frills Fringed Tulip ($7 for 12, Holland Bulb Farms)

25 of 25

Red Riding Hood

orange tulips tulip flower
Peter Krumhardt

This sturdy greigii-type hybrid tulip may be on the short side, but it's impossible to miss its bright red blooms. The mottled purple foliage provides the perfect foil for the vibrantly hued petals and echo the dark centers.

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Red Riding Hood Tulip ($15 for ten, Breck's)

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