Organic Bulbs

Terrific Tulips

Holland is known for its beautiful tulips, and you may have purchased imported tulip bulbs in the past, thinking only of the promise of pretty flowers the following spring. But did you know that more than 800 million conventionally-grown bulbs are shipped from Holland to the U.S. every year? The pesticides used in growing those plants have a negative impact on the environment, plus they've been implicated as a possible source of the recent epidemic of hive collapses in the honeybee population.

Now there's a greener alternative: Jeroen Koeman comes from a long line of tulip growers in the Netherlands, and together with his wife Keriann, imported the company’s first organic bulbs in 2009. Now the couple runs EcoTulips from their farm in Brightwood, Virginia. Their farmers use organic soil, natural pest control methods and weed by hand. As a result, these bulbs absorb a wider variety of nutrients, which makes them stronger and more beautiful than their conventional counterparts (plus, of course, they're better for the environment).

The flower bulb industry is lagging behind other horticulture industries in terms of transitioning to organic methods – because we don't eat the flowers, many people think it doesn't matter. Not only are EcoTulips better for the earth, you'll probably find they last longer in your garden, too. Beautiful.

— Mir
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Keriann

    Hello Tulip Friends!

    It's time to Tulip! Yes, tuliping is a verb at least in our household, especially when you live with the Tulip Man, Jeroen Koeman of Holland. We are delighted that our organically grown, pesticide free flower bulbs will be featured today on the Daily Grommet. EcoTulips is the only US supplier of organic flower bulbs which lets bees and people be healthy and happy.

    In addition to tulips we also offer daffodils, grape hyacinth (muscari), species tulips and fritillaria! When you plant one of our bulbs you are supporting organic farming practices and the reduction of pesticide use in the world. Why organic if we don't eat it? Great question! We may not eat them but our friends the Bees do and Colony Collapse Disorder is killing these little but highly important pollinators of our fruits and vegetables.

    We hope planting EcoTulips bulbs will bring joy to you and the bees this spring. We are here today to answer any of your Tulip planting questions.

    Happy Tuliping

    Keriann & Jeroen Koeman

  • erica
    10/13/2011 12:14 PM

    How many bulbs come in the Tulip Man mix?


    Great product!

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    10/13/2011 1:14 PM

    @erica: Thanks Erica, we are pretty proud of our bulbs and hope you enjoy them.

  • Beth
    10/13/2011 12:18 PM

    I have a couple of questions: how many bulbs come in the mix and are planting/care instructions included? I know nothing about growing tulips or other bulbs, but do know that our yard is in desparate need of spring color!

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    10/13/2011 1:12 PM

    @Beth: The great thing about bulbs is they do all the work once you get them in the ground you just sit back relax and wait for them to come up in the spring. I am not a green thumb myself but bulbs make it look like I am.

  • Donna
    10/13/2011 12:24 PM

    How many bulbs are we getting for $50?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/13/2011 12:27 PM

    @erica, Beth and Donna - don't these look beautiful? The anticipation for spring will be even sweeter this year.

    - The Tulip Man's Mix comes with 50 bulbs of 3-6 varieties.

    - The Single Late and Tall Variety has 6 bulbs each of Menton, City of Vancouver, and Camargue

    - The Perennial Variety Bulb Pack has 20 Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) Bulbs, 6 Daffodils & 5 Fritillari

    - The Red Hunter has 12 bulbs

    - The Grand Perfection has 12 bulbs

    Keriann and Jeroen have put together the following planting instructions.

    Clicking here will open up a pdf of the Planting Instructions.

  • Janet Tiampo
    Janet Tiampo
    10/13/2011 3:30 PM

    How much sun do you recommend for your tulips?

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    10/13/2011 4:01 PM

    @Janet Tiampo: Great question! Tulips can be planted in full sun to part shade. We recommend full sun because the more sun they get the better chance they have of coming back the following year. If planted in the shade they will bloom longer but will be more of an annual.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    5/5/2012 9:11 AM

    @Janet Tiampo Janet, we are Lexington neighbors. I came onto the Eco-Tulips page to leave a comment about how beautiful the tulips look this spring, and to let you know to swing by and take a look. I planted the Single Late and Tall variety last Fall. I planted three sets and it creates a pretty spectacular amassing of color and grace. I can't wait to plant some more this Fall.

  • Desmond
    9/20/2012 12:13 PM

    We planted these last Fall from Daily Grommet and we received rave reviews this Spring for them. They are amazing.

  •  cb
    9/20/2012 12:28 PM

    do these tulips re-bloom at all, the following year? Which tulips will bloom perennially?

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/20/2012 12:35 PM

    @ cb Great question. There are varieties of tulips that have an easier time of coming back year to year. This is because most growers breed tulips for cut flowers rather than for gardens. We have several varieties that re-bloom and or naturalize. Strong perrenializers can be found in the Big and Tall mix. and our French Duo. For a naturalizing tulip try any of our botanical tulips like red hunter. They are smaller than regular tulips but are great for rock gardens and borders. -Enjoy

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/20/2012 12:37 PM

    @CB-our Tulip Man Surprise mix is full of them as well.

  •  Alice H
    Alice H
    9/20/2012 12:21 PM

    I've been less than happy with tulips in charlotte nc because the bloom time is different than new england... since these bulbs are from virginia how do they hold up to early heat?

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/20/2012 12:49 PM

    @ Alice H: I am from New England as well and tulips do love those cold winters. Our bulbs come from Holland but we have great luck with them here in Virginia. The trick to great tulips in warm climates is not planting too early. The soil temperature should be at 50 degrees or lower. Sometimes that doesn't happen till late November here. If you choose to wait to plant till November or early December make sure you store your bulbs in the fridge to start giving them their needed cold period.

    Here are some detailed pre-cooling instructions: let me know how it goes and good luck.

    Most tulips need at least 14-16 weeks of “cold period” to develop a beautiful flower. This makes it hard to grow tulips in warm/tropical climates, but not impossible…

    The cold period is normally given by nature when the soil temperature drops below 55 degrees. In warm climates where the soil temperature isn’t dropping (long enough) below 55 degrees you can fool the bulb into thinking they've gone through a cold winter underground..

    Tulips can start their chilling period from mid September. Before mid September they are not ready for their wintersleep… You can buy “pre-cooled bulbs” or give them a "cold treatment" yourself. This can be done quite easily in your kitchen refrigerator. Store the bulbs 6 to 16 weeks cold, depending your climate/soil temperature. Place bulbs in a ventilated (paper) bag, mesh bulb/onion bags or egg cartons. Do not store them next to fruit, especially apples, all ripening fruit is giving off ethylene gas what will kill/damage the flower inside the bulb.

    Tulip bulbs need to start their cold period before December 1st. Do not buy bulbs after December 1st unless they are “pre-cooled” and stored cold at the place you bought them.

    The bulbs can be stored cold for several months, keep the bulbs in the refrigerator until planting. It is very important to take them directly from the fridge to your planting site, don’t let them warm up in the sun!

    2. Healthy Roots

    Tulips like to be planted in cool soil (32-55 degrees) to make roots. It takes about 4-6 weeks to grow sufficient roots, after they have grown roots they are ready for warmer spring temperatures. It can be a challenge to grow healthy roots when you live in a warm climate. In areas where the soil temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees, you have to use a fridge or cold climate controlled (40-50 degrees) room to grow healthy roots. Plant the tulips in a pot, water them and place the pot 4-6 weeks in your fridge.

    During the rooting process it is very important that the soil (4-8 inch deep) isn’t too warm (above 60 degrees) or too dry. Read below some tips how to ensure the best circumstances for your tulips in warm climates.

    Plant tulips in the coolest part of the year

    Plant tulips in partial/full shade

    Plant bulbs six to eight inches deep and apply two-inch thick layer of mulch to help retain moisture and keep the bulbs cool.

    Bring the soil temperature down by regular watering, the soil should be moist.

  • Catherine
    9/20/2012 6:11 PM

    Hello Kariann,

    I live in St. Petersburg, FL which is also known as West Central FL. I LOVE tulips and have since a very young gal living up in New Jersey. Any idea if tulips can take the humidity and heat of FL? I've no clue as to when I should plant the bulbs, or anything else about their care taking.

    Oh how I'd LOVE to have a beautiful tulip garden if these most beautiful flowers can grow in our southern climate. Looking forward to your response soon!

    Grand thanks,


  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/21/2012 11:57 AM

    @Catherine Hamel: It is difficult to grow tulips in Florida but you can try forcing them in pots. If you have the space in your refrigerator it can be done. Here are some instructions:

    1.Choose a tulip that forces well such as Grand Perfection.

    2. Plant your bulbs in a pot that can fit in the refrigerator. Water them but make sure it drains well.Make sure it doesn't dry out.

    3. Keep them there for 14 weeks.

    4. Take them out and place them on a porch or near a window. Direct sunlight is best. Water as needed and again don't let soil dry out.

    5. If all goes well you should have blooming tulips in a few weeks!

    Let us know how it goes and feel free to email us any questions throughout the process. [email protected] ~Happy Tuliping Keriann

  • Catherine
    9/20/2012 6:16 PM

    Uh oh Kariann,

    I just say your response to a gal ahead of me who also lives south of New England, and gosh, it doesn't look good for tulip growing here in FL. Tears, tears down my face.

    While waiting for the coldest week of the year to plant the bulbs, should the bulbs be refrigerated till the week arrives? Last year it seemed that we only had one true week of winter - most unusual. Other years it has been in the 30's for much of the season. Go figure.

    Might it be your thinking that I should pass on purchasing these bulbs till seeing just what this upcoming winter might produce - regarding cold or simply wussy, warmish weather?

    Again, so much thanks,


  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/21/2012 12:11 PM

    @Catherine Hamel : You are correct-growing them in the soil in Florida is pretty impossible but I hope you have luck with the forcing instructions above~Keriann

  •  Shelby L
    Shelby L
    9/20/2012 6:46 PM


    I absolutely to tulips, high five to you & your husband for your creations. These are beautiful & such wonderful work you both are doing. I really don't have a green thumb but would love to try and plants these. Would they do good growing here in Hawaii? I don't know of any tulip farms here. Would I be able to grow if I live in a condo with a small balcony? Would love to here your feedback! Happy Farming!!

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/21/2012 12:09 PM

    @ Shelby L Thanks for you kind words and enthusiasm! When the soil temps don't get below 50 degrees it is very difficult to grow tulips outside. They are from the mountainous regions of Central Asia and love the cold. You can force them in pots. See my instructions above to Catherine Hamel form Florida. We would love to hear about your results and hope you stay in touch. Our email is [email protected] ~Keriann

  •  Jane
    9/20/2012 8:11 PM

    I saw the French Duo set in the description and knew immediately that's what I wanted -- however I don't see them in the drop down order list. Is the French Duo set available for purchase?

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    9/20/2012 8:57 PM

    @ Jane Maybe it was missing before, but I just placed an order for the French Duo myself. It is at the bottom of the drop down. Email us if you have further trouble: [email protected]

    FWIW, I planted about 100 of these French Duo bulbs last Fall (Boston) and they gave me endless joy...they came up stronger, bigger, brighter than I ever expected. They bloomed for weeks too. I can't tell you how many people commented on them, as they are in our front yard and got a lot of attention.

  • Keriann
    Keriann – Special Guest
    9/27/2012 12:52 PM

    @Jules Pieri -We are so happy you got so much pleasure out of them. The french single lates really are spectacular-Keriann

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    9/20/2012 8:58 PM

    @ Jane One other thing...the drop down box has a scroll bar on the right, and you have to use that to see all the selections.

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