Tulip Symbol Meanings, Tulip Care and Tulip History

Tulips are one of the most admired and beloved flowers the world around. The meaning of tulips, their fascinating history and tips for growing tulips are covered in the article below:

Meaning of Tulips
Meaning of the Color of Tulips
   Tulips as Heralds of Spring
Tulip Symbolism for Special Occasions
   Symbolic Tulips for Easter
   Tulips as Get Well Gifts
   Symbolic Tulips for Valentine's Day
   Symbolic Tulips for Mother's Day
   Tulips as Sympathy Gifts
   Tulips for Weddings
   Tulips for Baby Showers/Spring Birthdays
   Tulips for Congratulations
   Tulips for the Winter Holidays   
History of Tulips
   Middle Eastern Origins
   Tulipmania in the Netherlands 
Growing Tulips
   Tulips in Gardens
   Tulips as Potted Plants
Uses of Tulips
   Edible Tulip Petals
   Tulips in Arts and Crafts
More Tulip Resources
   Bouquets Featuring Tulips
   Books on Flower Symbolism and Tulips

Meaning of Tulips

Meaning of the Color of Tulips
tulip flower symbolismTulips are symbolic of fame and perfect love. The symbolic meanings also change with the color of the tulips. Red tulips mean "believe me" and are a declaration of true love. Variegated tulips mean "you have beautiful eyes." Yellow tulips mean "there's sunshine in your smile" and cheerful thoughts. Cream colored tulips mean "I will love you forever." White tulips symbolize heaven, newness and purity. Purple tulips symbolize royalty. Pink tulips mean affection and caring.
Orange tulips mean energy, enthusiasm, desire, and passion.

tulips meaningsTulips as Heralds of Spring
Tulips also mean eternal life and are heralds of spring. Along with crocuses and daffodils, tulips are the first flowers to blossom each year, sometimes while there is still snow on the ground nearby. Tulips are perfect for gardens that are designed to bloom from the earliest possible date. The meaning of the garden can be encoded in the choice of flower colors. For example, a white tulip garden would symbolize heaven on earth. (Photo courtesy of Unacerilla, Wikimedia Commons.)

For more on flower symbolism, see our recommended books from Amazon:
Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees
The Language of Flowers: Symbols And Myths
The Language of Flowers
The Meaning of Flowers
Forget-Me-Not: A Floral Treasury Sentiments and Plant Lore from the Language of Flowers

Tulip Symbolism for Special Occasions

tulips EasterSymbolic Tulips for Easter
As the heralds of spring, tulips are popular Easter flowers. To celebrate the cycle of growth and the return of warmth and abundance after the long winter, bright bouquets featuring yellow tulips, pink tulips, orange tulips, red tulips and variegated tulips are all perfect for centerpieces and decor during the Easter season.

See gorgeous Easter bouquets featuring yellow tulips, pink tulips, orange tulips, red tulips and variegated tulips. See other Easter Flowers include lilies, daffodils, carnations and hyacinth.

tulips get wellTulips as Get Well Gifts
Due to their association with spring and new life, tulips make wonderful get well flowers. Send a bouquet with pink tulips to symbolize your affection and caring or send yellow tulips to bring cheerfulness to those recovering from illness. Orange tulips mean energy, enthusiasm, desire, and passion. Orange tulips can be a great pick-me-up and source of inspiration for those who ill.

See beautiful bouquets featuring pink tulips, orange tulips and yellow tulips. Other Get Well Flowers include cheerful daisies, bright sunflowers and purple irises.

red tulipsSymbolic Tulips for Valentine's Day
In addition, tulips are second only to roses for love and romance. Send a bouquet featuring roses when you want to send something memorable and unique to your Valentine. Try a bouquet of pink tulips or red tulips to express your affection and love. Other good choices for Valentine's Day flowers include red and pink lilies and purple aster flowers. Learn more about lilies in our articles on Calla Lily Meanings and Day Lily Flowers Meanings.

See pink tulips, red tulips and other flowers for Valentine's Day from FloristOne.

pink tulipsSymbolic Tulips for Mother's Day
For Mother's Day, the first Sunday in May, tulips can be sent as either cut flowers or a potted plant. Pink tulips are ideal for Mother's Day, expressing warmth and affection. Red tulips are another good choice. Other popular Mothers Day Flowers include carnations, daisies and yellow roses.

See pink tulips, red tulips and other popular flowers for Mothers Day from FloristOne.

peach tulipsTulips as Sympathy Gifts
White tulips, peach tulips, green tulips and purple tulips have become popular choices for sympathy flowers. A bouquet with white tulips symbolizes the eternal rest of the departed. A white casket spray of tulips is both beautiful and elegant, especially when combined with white roses, carnations or lilies. A bouquet with peach tulips conveys both affection and sympathy. An arrangement including green tulips expresses the assurance of the resurrection. A wreath with purple tulips to express heartfelt sympathy.

Send a bouquet with white tulips, a white casket spray, a bouquet with peach tulips or a wreath with purple tulips for a sympathy gift or remembrance.

tulips weddingsTulips as Wedding Flowers
Tulips also have a surprisingly long history of use as wedding flowers--for table centerpieces, general wedding decor and as bridal bouquets. Cut tulips can wilt, so the stems should be relatively short and the flowers kept in water as long as possible. Tulips are an elegant and classical choice for weddings, particularly a spring wedding. Tulips with variegated colors and ruffled tulips can create a striking, modern look for a wedding centerpiece. Potted tulips or tulip bulbs can be given as wedding favors, especially red tulips symbolizing the love of the newly wedded couple. Pink tulips are also a wonderful choice for wedding flowers.

Try tulips with variegated colors or pink tulips from FloristOne for your wedding.

Tulips for Baby Showers and Spring Birthdays
As symbols of new life, tulips are a great choice for a baby shower or as a gift for a new baby. Pink tulips (for girls) and yellow tulips (for boys) are probably the best bets. If the gender of the baby is unknown, white tulips symbolizing heaven, newness and purity would be a great choice or orange tulips meaning energy and enthusiasm. The same symbolism makes tulips perfect birthday gifts for those with spring birthdays.

Try pink tulips, yellow tulips or orange tulips for a baby shower or spring birthday.

orange tulipTulips for Congratulations
The beauty and simplicity of a bouquet including tulips (see below), especialy orange tulips, makes a strong statement for congratulating others on significant accomplishments. In addition, the achieving of a major accomplishment often sets the stage for the next step or level--a sign of growth and new opportunities that perfectly match the flower that heralds the new cycle of spring each year. Tulips are wonderful graduation gifts as well since these celebrations usually take place in the spring or early summer.

Tulips for the Winter Holidays
tulipsAlthough you might not think of tulips for the Christmas and winter holiday season, red tulips are a striking and somewhat exotic display, reminding everyone in the darkest time of the year of the coming of spring. Red tulips combine well with berries, green foliage and colorful sprays and can brighten up any holiday table or make a unique gift for those you love or an end-of-the-year thank you business associates and clients. Consider displaying or gifting a cheery holiday bouquet featuring tulips.

See all bouquets featuring tulips below.

History of Tulips

white tulipMiddle Eastern Origins of Tulips
Tulips are originally from Persia and were brought to the Netherlands in the 17th century. Approximately 150 varieties of tulips grow in the wild, especially in mountainous, cold regions. Once the tulip was hybrid, a vast array of colors and petal forms were created. The name for tulips comes from the headdress worn by many Middle Eastern peoples known as a turban or taliban. In Latin, this translates to "tulipa."
(Photo courtesy of UpstateNYer, Wikimedia Commons.)

Tulipmania in the Netherlands
In the years 1636-37, tulipmania ruled in the Netherlands. Tulips were a symbol of wealth and status and were traded like currency. A bed of tulips could buy a small house. Some highly prized tulips were even more valuable and a single bulb could be traded for a large house and all of the land, furniture and other accessories.

striped tulipThe most highly prized tulips had breaks or stripes in their coloration. Striped tulips were actually the result of a virus transferred by aphids, which made their appearance unpredictable. When the tulip market crashed, it was similar to the stock market crash in the 20th century. Thousands of businessmen were ruined when the bubble burst. Tulips, however, remain the foremost national symbol of Holland, rivaling wooden shoes and windmills.

Learn more about Tulipmania from this book on Amazon:
Tulipomania : The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused

Find books on the beauty and history of tulips on Amazon:
The Infinite Tulip
Tulipa: A Photographer's Botanical

Growing Tulips

Tulips in Gardens
Tulips need fer tilized twice a year, especially in the spring before they blossom. Tulips also need lots of water, with watering once a week at the bare minimum. Also be aware that rabbits, squirrels and voles will uproot and eat tulip bulbs if they can. The bulbs should be planted at a depth that is three times their height. Tulips generally prefer sun but also do well under trees that give them partial shade in the hottest part of the summer. Tulips are planted in the fall and bulbs are generally available between July and November.

tulip flower symbolism 2The huge rainbow of tulip colors available make them a certain fit for any garden. Find plants, trees and flowers at Nature Hills Nursery, Inc. Nature Hills Nursery offers one of the largest selections of high quality live plants and related products online, complete with extensive plant information, while maintaining an exceptional level of customer service. Other spring bulbs include anemone, begonias, calla lilies, cannas, clematis, dahlias, day lilies, gladiolus, iris, orchids and peonies. Fall bulbs include lilies, day lilies, cone flowers, peonies, phlox and bluebells.

Tulips as Potted Plants
Tulips can also be grown in pots or small containers for those who have limited garden space. A terra cotta or ceramic pot is prefereable to plastic. Plastic pots may overheat or have insufficient drainage. Since tulips prefer sun and will do well on sunny porches or balconies.

Learn more about growing tulips in these Amazon books:
Tulips: The Complete Guide to Selecting and Growing (Gardener's Library (Firefly Books))
Daffodils, Tulips, and Other Hardy Bulbs

Uses of Tulips

tulip petalsEdible Tulip Petals
In addition to their role as an excellent garden flower and long-lasting cut flower, tulips petals are actually edible. Tulips are used fresh rather than cooked and can be added to appetizers, salads and desserts. Tulips add color, texture and excitement to meals. Photo courtesy of Dmccabe, Wikimedia Commons.

Tulips in Arts and Crafts
Tulips lend themselves well to arts and crafts projects from embroidery to spring centerpieces and door hangings. Try Dreamstime Stock Photography if your project requires high quality photos of tulips. The Dreamstime database is renewed with thousands of fresh images and titles on a daily basis.

More Tulip Resources

Bouquets Featuring Tulips
The extensive FloristOne catalog features flowers for every occasion and an extensive network of florists that allows for same day delivery to nearly all of the United States and Canada. Send a classic gift of flowers with special symbolic meaning for a spring birthday, baby's birth, holiday, sympathy, graduation or other special occasion. Nothing else communicates your sentiments quite as well as flowers.

See bouquets featuring tulips below, see a selection of our favorite bouquets and flowers or go directly to the FloristOne website to see all flowers available.

Books on Flower Symbolism and Tulips
Details about the following recommended books on flower symbolism can be found on Amazon through the links below:

©2008-2010 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC



More Symbolic Products

sacred symbols books
Our bookstore includes books, DVDs and music.
tibetan jewelry
Our jewelry selections include lots of meaningful gifts!
feng shui decor
Includes statues, chimes, fountains, coins, and charms.
Flower Gifts
Flower bouquets, gift baskets, memory trees, fairie gifts and angel gifts.
flower photos
The photos on this page are offered through Dreamstime stock photos.
celtic artwork
Symbolic artwork will brighten up any home or office with meaningful visuals.


Flower Symbol
Tulip Symbol
flower symbol
Poinsettia Symbol
flower symbol
Flower Symbol
Bluebell Symbol
flower symbol
flower symbol
flower symbol
Flower Name Meaning
Calla Lily Meaning
Iris Symbol
Rose Symbolism
Orchid Symbol
favorite flowers
flower symbol
flower symbol
Sunflower Meaning
flower symbol
Daisy Symbol
flower symbol
Marigold Flower SYmbol
Sweet Pea Symbol