Plant Type
Sunlight Amount


Tulip, Fosteriana Hybrids

Flowering in early spring, Fosteriana tulips are also known as Emperor tulips thanks to their massive flowers. The bright blossoms of Fosteriana tulips are a traffic-stopping way to welcome spring. Plant a large bed of them near a patio, porch, or sidewalk where you are sure to see them and enjoy the color they bring to the landscape after a long winter. Fosteriana tulips grow 8 to 20 inches tall making them great plants to pair with small bulbs like crocus and grape hyacinth to create a color show that extends from ground level up.

genus name
  • Tulipa fosteriana
  • Sun
plant type
  • 6 to 12 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • To 6 inches
flower color
foliage color
season features
special features
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Planting Fosteriana Tulips

Expand your spring bulb bloom show by pairing tulips with early season bloomers like crocus, grape hyacinths, and traditional hyacinths. Plant your favorite daffodils alongside tulips for a petal-packed display. Keep the tulip display rolling into late spring by planting Greigii, Triumph, Lily Flowering, Peony, and Parrot tulips—all which bloom after Fosteriana Hybrids. Darwin Hybrids and Single Late Tulips bloom near the end of the spring and finish out the tulip season. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy tulips in the garden and bouquets in the house from mid-spring through late spring.

Caring for Fosteriana Tulips

Fosteriana tulips, like all tulip bulbs, require well-drained soil and at least 6 hours of bright sunlight per day. Tulips do best in soil that is relatively dry in summer and well-drained in winter. Wet, boggy soil in winter quickly leads to bulb rot.

The best time to plant tulips bulbs is mid-fall when the nighttime temperatures consistently hover in the 40s. Prepare the planting bed, breaking up any soil clods as you dig a 6- to 8-inch-deep planting trench. Place the bulbs 6 inches apart in the bottom of the trench and cover them with loose soil. Water tulips well after planting.

Once planted, tulips are relatively low maintenance. Water emerging bulbs in spring if rainfall is limited. Allow foliage to stand in the garden after blooming until it turns completely yellow. The living foliage is producing nutrients for next year's flower crop. After foliage fades, cease watering.

More Varieties of Tulip, Fosteriana Hybrids

'Juan' Tulip

ThisTulipa variety has a striking combination of mottled foliage and orange-red flowers with a warm yellow base. These grow 16–18 inches tall. Zones 3–8

'Purissima' Tulip

Tulipa fosteriana 'Purissima' is also sometimes called 'White Emperor' in the horticultural trade. Pale primrose-yellow buds open to pure white flowers on stems to 18 inches tall in early to midspring. Blooms are fragrant. Zones 3-8

'Madame Lefeber' Tulip

Tulipa fosteriana 'Madame Lefeber' is also sometimes called 'Red Emperor.' An heirloom, introduced in 1931, it features brilliant red flowers that have a black base rimmed in yellow on the inside. It stands 16 inches tall. Zones 3-8

'Sweetheart' Tulip

ThisTulipa cultivar is an early-season bloomer that bears lemon-yellow blooms with a broad ivory white edge. It grows 18 inches tall. Zones 3-8

'Orange Emperor' Tulip

This selection ofTulipa is a good perennializer with glowing orange blooms with a base of yellow. It grows 14 inches tall. Zones 3-8


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