Angelique: One of the prettiest tulips is also easy to grow

Angelique is soon to arrive in my garden, but only briefly. And as in years past, I’ll miss her when she leaves and will look forward to her return next spring.

She has proven to be one of the prettiest tulips.

To describe her petals merely as rose-pink does her injustice. Angelique changes during her stay here each spring. Her blossoms start out neatly folded, upright, and very tulip-like, but over the course of days spread wider and wider. As she opens, she shows off her many petals, making her look like a mix of a peony and a rose. Inside each blossom, the bases of the petals have a yellow glow. Put your nose to a blossom and you can even detect a rose-like aroma.

That rose-pink color is not a uniform shade brushed over all the petals. Instead, the petals have a porcelain white background that’s dabbed with rose-pink brush strokes of varying intensity.

Both the color and the shape of the blossoms hold up well in a vase, the petals on the cut flowers becoming translucent over time.


I’ll give you two more reasons to plant Angelique. First, each bulb, given good conditions, will send up multiple flower stalks. Second, Angelique is a tulip that often perennializes. Sure, all tulips are perennial in theory, but the blossoms of most tulips peter out over time.

A good site helps tulips — even those that tend to perennialize — last longer. Such a site is bathed in at least five hours of sun daily while tulips are up out of the ground in spring. After that, some shade is beneficial to keep the ground in which the bulbs are slumbering from getting too warm. Angelique’s bed beneath my grape arbor should prove a perfect home for her.

Good nutrition and a well-drained soil encourage the lusty growth that feeds the following year’s blooms.

A mulch such as compost could do that feeding at the same time as it insulates the soil to help keep it from getting too warm.


After blossoming, Angelique and other tulips make seeds. Rather than letting them do this, I snap off developing seed heads so the plants instead channel their energy to the developing bulbs.

Any tulip bulb multiplies and, with time, all those new bulbs begin to crowd each other. How long before the bulbs become overcrowded depends on the kind of bulb and the growing conditions, but diminished flowering is the result. When that begins to happen, it’s time to dig them up, separate them, and replant them. It does not seem possible to have too much of Angelique, but if that happens, she also would make a great gift.

Angelique is not a “new kid on the block,” just a new tulip in my garden. She’s been around since 1959, found as a chance mutation in a stock of Granda, another fine, rose-colored, double-flowered, late tulip. Granda was evidently not as fine as Angelique because it is no longer around.

Consider inviting Angelique to your garden this fall to enjoy next spring and for many springs thereafter.