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Double Flower Bulbs

Blumenzwiebeln mit gefüllten Blüten Narzisse Lubera

Double flower bulbs are a whim of nature – and the breeder. With these special bulb flowers, they assume that more must mean more.

   
 
Double Daffodil 'Flower Parade'

Narcissus 'Flower Parade'

£3.50 *

Double Daffodil 'Rip van Winkle'

Narcissus 'Rip van Winkle'

£2.20 *

Double Daffodil 'Tahiti'

Narcissus 'Tahiti'

£4.00 *

Double Tulip 'Angélique'

Tulipa 'Angélique'

£4.00 *

Double Tulip 'Black Hero'

Tulipa 'Black Hero'

£4.90 *

Double Tulip 'Carnaval de Nice'

Tulipa 'Carnaval de Nice'

£3.50 *

Double Tulip 'Exotic Emperor'®

Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor'®

£2.60 *

Double Tulip 'Orange Princess'

Tulipa 'Orange Princess'

£5.40 *

Snowdrop 'Flore Pleno'

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'

£5.40 *

Wood Anemone 'Vestal'

Anemone nemorosa 'Vestal'

£7.40 *

   
 

More useful information about Double Flower Bulbs

And so, with the originally simple flowers, they breed with random mutations until the petals line up tightly in the flowers over the years and decades. The emergence of new varieties is a lengthy process. But the visual effect is sometimes captivating. These double flower bulbs are best planted in a spot that is sheltered from rain and wind in the garden, near the house entrance, on a terrace or balcony, where they can unfold their beauty in front of the eye of the beholder.
 

The Best Double Daffodils

Double daffodils are especially eye-catching in the spring garden. They bloom mainly in April. The two varieties daffodil 'Tahiti' and daffodil 'Flower Parade' are among the most attractive varieties of this class. They are virtually identical except for their colour. Both of these double flower bulbs flower in mid-spring with a focus on April, forming flowers of around 11 centimetres in diameter. These are on about 45 centimetres high, straight stems. 'Tahiti' has uniform, rounded, rich golden yellow outer petals. The inner filaments are a bright orange colour and are densely filled. With 'Flower Parade', the outer petals are creamy white, the inner filaments are orange and cream white mixed, giving the flowers a particularly appealing look. These two daffodils are quite robust and can be well planted in groups between later flowering perennials. They need a very moist, humus-rich soil, and therefore feel well in any well-stocked perennial bed. Another double-flowered classic among the daffodils is the small variety 'Rip van Winkle'. This yellow Narcissus often blooms in March and early April. It has a light touch to the bright green, which makes it appear refreshing, almost neon-like, from a distance. The petals of this double flower bulb variety are narrow, tapered and slightly rotated. Since they are tightly packed, the flowers look like ruffled stars with glowing spikes. 'Rip van Winkle' is only about 14 centimetres high and it is quite weatherproof in the garden. With regard to the location and soil, it has no special requirements.

Blumenzwiebeln mit gefüllten Blüten Buschwindröschen Vestal Lubera

The Best Filled Tulips

The double-flowered dream couple par excellence are the two late tulips 'Angelique' and 'Black Hero'. These late-blooming tulips are virtually identical except for the colour; they have the same cup-shaped flower form and they bloom at the same time. The delicate pastel pink Tulipa 'Angelique' enhances the almost black flowers of Tulipa 'Black Hero' and, on the other hand, the delicate 'Angelique' in combination with 'Black Hero' looks even more delicate. These double flower bulbs are a duo which makes a fantastic eye-catcher both in containers and in flower beds. Both belong to the late, double tulips, also called peony tulips. They bloom together with the true peony perennials towards the end of spring and are then a good complement to other early summer perennials.

Another striking breed is the tulip 'Orange Princess'. This fiery double flower bulb beauty trumps with its large, bright orange flowers, which are even more striking with their red to purple stripes and flames on the outside of the petals. Of course, if you are very brave, you can also combine 'Orange Princess' with 'Black Hero', which creates a very unusual spring combination – you can associate glowing pumpkin orange and black with autumn Halloween arrangements. But why not try something completely different? The tulip 'Carnaval de Nice' is far more modest. This breed is one of the most exclusive tulips ever with its red-white flamed flowers. One of the most exceptional double flower bulbs, it is also extremely popular with garden designers. The Dutch landscape architect Jacqueline van der Kloeet has made this special late tulip known and uses it again and again in her designs with flower bulbs, for example in the Dutch flower bulb park Keukenhof.

Other Double Flower Bulbs

One of the most beautiful spring flowers for March and early April is the wood anemone 'Vestal' (Anemone nemorosa). This spring anemone, strictly speaking, does not belong to the family of double flower bulbs because it grows from tubers and not from bulbs. These tubers are storage organisms that function in a similar way to flower bulbs but have a different structure inside. Nonetheless, this pretty double-flowered wood anemone is listed here, as it is planted like the flower bulbs in autumn, and then it flowers in early spring. The tubers of the wood anemones should be soaked in lukewarm water for a few hours before planting. With double flower bulbs, on the other hand, you do not do that, as do not like too much moisture. Tubers, however, need moisture to grow. The wood anemone 'Vestal' flowers a little later than the common wood anemones, in March and into April. It is also poisonous. The small petals inside are stacked like tiny roof tiles. The flowers are snow white and also quite large for a wood anemone, making them look good from afar. This variety was introduced in the 19th century by the South German botanist Max Leichtlin. Another exquisite bulb flower is named after him, namely the camas lily Camassia leichtlini, and it blooms in late April,

The snowdrop Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' is another favourite amongst double flower bulbs. It smells intense and its slightly nodding bells look truly magical in early spring. It blooms a bit later than the simple snowdrops, but it usually opens in February or certainly in early March. The outer petals of Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' are pure white and on the inside there are double, white bells with green and white-striped petals, which have a delicate pattern from close up. 'Flore Pleno' can be planted between perennials or in the foreground of a perennial bed.

How Do You Get Double Flower Bulbs?

To obtain double flower bulbs, the number of petals is increased by breeding. The original forms of these plants normally emerged from a whim of nature and then are then further crossed by breeders until the properties emerge more and more over several generations. Most of the stamens, sometimes the carpels, are converted into more petals in this process. If the flowers with the double flowers do not have their own variety name, then these plants are often simply called 'Flore Pleno', that is 'with filled flowers.'

Are Double Flowers Worthless To Bees?

No, that's not true, even if it is repeatedly claimed and suggested. In fact, it depends on which part of the petals in these flower bulbs has been bred. If only the tepals have been changed in the breeding of the plants, the female flower organs are still functional. Thus, some plants with double flowers can continue to form pollen and nectar as well as seeds. In particular, the double tulips such as tulip 'Angelique' or tulip 'Black Hero' were bred by propagating the tepals of these tulip varieties. The stamens remain with these late tulips but persist. Double tulips are just as valuable to bees and other insects as are simple flowers. With many double flowers, however, it is already the case that the stamens are regressed so far that the flowers of these plants no longer form nectar and pollens. These flowers are actually useless for insects. But it's not like they hurt bees and bumblebees and other insects. If you have enough other bee-friendly plants in the garden, then a few sterile flowers do not disturb them at all.

The Best Location for Double Flower Bulbs

Double flower bulbs are generally more sensitive. Their flower heads are usually heavier and they do not tolerate the rain and wind well. These are not plants that would be abundant in the garden, but rather small special effects for special locations, in the foreground of a perennial flower bed or on a terrace, where you can enjoy the special flowers from close by. Many of them also smell wonderful. In terms of location and soil, flower bulbs with double flowers tend to be more sensitive to waterlogging. They should be planted in a sunny spot in humus-rich, well-drained soil. If the garden is slightly damp, then a drainage layer of one centimetre of sand should be applied to the bottom of the planting hole. The bulbs are then placed on the sand bed with the shoot tip up. Refill the holes with compost. Daffodils and snowdrops can be watered afterwards. Tulips, on the other hand, should not be especially wet.

Double Flower Bulbs in Pots

This is ideal in many ways. Because the weather-sensitive double flowers can be beautifully protected from wind and rain on a balcony or on a covered terrace. Even in front of a sheltered entrance, they turn out to be the bright and cheerful doormen. If double flower bulbs are grown in a pot, it is important to pay attention to good drainage. The water must be able to run at any time, and it should not be in the saucers. It also makes sense to fill a layer of expanded clay first when using larger containers. A felt should be placed on top of that, which prevents the soil from being washed down into the expanded clay. On the felt comes the actual substrate. These flower bulbs like well-drained, humus soil. It is best to use a mixture of universal soil and slightly heavier, more permeable potting soil. Or you can make yourself a mixture consisting of one-third garden soil, compost and sand each. The bulbs should be planted about the same depth as in the garden, that is, twice as deep as they are high. In pots, you can arrange these flower bulbs in a good multi-layered order. For example, it is nice to combine early flowering tulips and late tulips. This allows the flowering time to last longer. For daffodils, you can do that with 'Tahiti' or 'Flower Parade' and the early flowering variety 'Rip van Winkle'.

Maintaining and propagating

Most flowers with double flowers are sterile, and usually, they do not form seeds. This means that these flower bulbs propagate basically only via daughter bulbs. You can find the young flower bulbs in the summer when the foliage has completely died back. Usually, it is better for the propagation to grow the plants for several years in the same location. If they form larger clumps over time, then in the summer you can cut out these clumps with the spade, and disassemble the individual bulbs and plant them separately again. These types of flower bulbs tend to need a bit more food than plants with simple flowers. Therefore, it does not hurt to supply these plants regularly with liquid fertiliser. If they grow between perennials, the supplemental nutrients also comes in handy. After flowering, the flower bulbs should be further fertilised for a while, until the foliage has completely died back. Then they can be dug up. Under no circumstances may the leaves be cut away too soon, otherwise the bulbs will have too little power next year to form beautiful flowers again.

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