Little Beauty Wildflower Tulip (Tulipa humilis)Little Beauty Wildflower Tulip (Tulipa humilis)

The Wonderful Wildflower Tulips

by David Salman

The fall-planted, spring-blooming flower bulb planting season is just around the corner. I always order my bulbs in August or September and wait to plant until the first couple of frosts in the fall. In USDA Zone 6 Santa Fe, this usually in late October. I always remind folks that when you see the bulbs blooming in spring, it’s too late to get them planted. You have to plant in the fall to get color in the spring.

What I like best about spring-blooming bulbs is the ease of their care. Few other groups of plants provide so much with so little effort. I always say I’m planting myself a “spring surprise.” Invariably, you forget what and where you planted your bulbs, so all through the spring, it‘s a continuous source of pleasure and delight to see all the bright colors and cheery combinations you’ve created.

Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'
'Lilac Wonder' Wildflower Tulip (Tulipa bakeri)

High Country Gardens specializes in perennial Fall-Planted, Spring-Blooming Flower Bulbs. It seems we all are more time-constrained than ever, so it makes sense to plant bulbs that come back year after year, more numerous and beautiful.

For this reason, one of my favorite spring bulb groups would be the Wildflower Tulips. These smaller growers will amaze you with their huge flowers in many extravagant colors. They are strong naturalizers (meaning they increase in numbers during each growing season by propagating more bulbs) and are an essential source of early-season nectar and pollen for hungry honey and native bees.

My favorite Wildflower Tulip varieties that we currently offer include ‘Lilac Wonder’‘Little Princess’ and ‘Little Beauty’.

For more information about choosing and planting Tulips, learn more in our guide: How To Choose & Plant Tulips

Shop Tulip Bulbs

Companion Plants For Wildflower Tulips

Spring flowering bulbs are outstanding companion plants to mix into your perennial flower beds. The bulbs provide the early season color, as well as nectar for pollinators, and go dormant as the perennials are growing upwards and coming into bloom.

Plant wildflower tulips into spring-blooming groundcovers like Veronica liwanensis (Turkish Speedwell) and Veronica pectinata (Wooly Speedwell) to create a blooming carpet decorated with the tulips that push up through them in spring. Easy and colorful!

Shop Groundcovers

  1. Blue Veronica liwanensis, Veronica liwanensis, Turkish Speedwell - Photo Credit by Plant Select

    Turkish speedwell is one of our showiest blue flowered groundcovers native to the mountains of Turkey. Spreading stems of evergreen foliage root as they spread across the soil and co...

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    Turkish Veronica Turkish Speedwell Veronica liwanensis
    As low as $7.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Turkish speedwell is one of our showiest blue flowered groundcovers native to the mountains of Turkey. Spreading stems of evergreen foliage root as they spread across the soil and cover themselves with bright blue flowers in late spring.
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  2. Vic Bruno's Albuquerque Thyme Lawn

    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion ...

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    Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Thymus serpyllum Pink Chintz
    As low as $7.99 Sale $6.79
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion of salmon-pink flowers.
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  3. Blue and White Veronica pectinata, Veronica pectinata, Blue Woolly Speedwell

    Veronica pectinata (Woolly Speedwell) is one of our finest groundcovers. Growing with long stems of wooly evergreen foliage, the plants cover themselves with blue blooms, aging to la...

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    Blue Woolly Veronica Blue Woolly Speedwell Veronica pectinata
    As low as $7.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Veronica pectinata (Woolly Speedwell) is one of our finest groundcovers. Growing with long stems of wooly evergreen foliage, the plants cover themselves with blue blooms, aging to lavender-blue flowers in early to mid-spring. 2" tall x 18" wide.
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  4. Pink Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Pink Creeping Thyme

    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressive...

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    Pink Creeping Thyme Pink Creeping Thyme Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus
    As low as $7.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressively xeric, with tough woody stems. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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