A horticulturist offers her tips on growing this variety, including where to find bulbs online for less than $15.

By EatingWell
June 26, 2020
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Courtesy of Bluestone Perennials

The U.S. is experiencing a huge gardening boom right now, in one positive development during the novel coronavirus pandemic. And we're taking that small silver lining and running with it. We've been taking on all sorts of planting projects—from filling our homes with air-purifying plants to starting vertical vegetable gardens. And now there's a new plant we're loving: "Raspberry Sundae" tulips from Perfect Partners.

The name implies exactly what they look like: raspberry ice cream sundaes. The tulips have a hot pink base and the petals form a fluffy white dome, making the flowers look like a scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting in a bright pink bowl (or covered in raspberry syrup—yum). 

Each bag comes with 12 bulbs and costs $12.95. According to the website, these flowers grow 10 to 12 inches tall and bloom in late spring or early summer if you live in zones 3 to 7 (find yours here). 

I asked Wendy Gamble, a horticulturist from Leaf & Petal in Mountain Brook, Alabama, for some tips on growing tulips. First, she says, "You need to plant tulip bulbs in the middle to late November." She adds that warmer states may be able to get away with planting in early December.

Though Perfect Partners' website says it's OK to grow these tulips in containers, Gamble recommends planting them in the ground (ideally in a spot that's sunny and has well-drained soil). She says, "Tulips are going to be more temporary in pots, but you could definitely plant them in there."

To give the bulbs plenty of energy to last through winter, Gamble says, "We recommend bone meal or bulb fertilizer for tulips. You could mix it in with your soil as you plant it." Gamble says she likes to use Espoma's Bulb Tone Organic Plant Food ($14, amazon.com).

Stock up on a few bags of these "Raspberry Sundae" tulip bulbs now for late fall planting, and you'll be in for a beautiful treat next spring. And, if you decide to plant them in pots, don't forget to buy an ice cream-themed one like The Bridge Collection Black Sprinkles White Ceramic Planter Pot ($17, amazon.com) or the Muddy Me Ice Cream Cone Planter ($37, etsy.com) for a fun touch. Until then, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with one of our healthy ice cream sundae recipes.

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