red tulips

Tulip Cherry Delight

My first detailed post about a specific tulip variety had to be about Tulipa ‘Cherry Delight.’ If you would like details on how to chose tulips, planting instructions, deadheading and general care,  here is a quick read for beginners.

red tulips
Tulip Cherry Delight in full bloom

I am absolutely in love with tulips but this variety is probably one of my favorites (close runner up being Tulip Peppermint Stick).

What is the big deal about Tulip Cherry Delight?

Tulip Cherry Delight is a must-have for all gardening and tulip enthusiasts because other than the usually expected charm of tulips, it :

  • is a Darwin hybrid tulip, meaning it’s perennial. In simple terms, this means it comes back year after year and naturalizes easily. It has been said that as with all other Darwin Hybrid tulips, it performs well for at least 5-6 years. However, please note that you must not remove the foliage and ideally the stem, after flowering. The flower must be cut once it’s withered before it sets seed to ensure all the energy goes into the bulb for next year. Also, ensure you keep feeding this area as per usual for guaranteed blooms each year. I have planted mine in the perennial border which ensures they are fed with the rest of the plants here and come back each year. This technique has worked for all other Darwin hybrid tulips in my garden.
Tulip cherry delight in bud
Tulip Cherry Delight in bud
  • From bud to bloom, it is an absolutely breathtaking gem. Rich pinks mature into deeper reds and it shines in the sunlight to show a deep red which will brighten up any border, as you can see below. Yes, it’s a very photogenic flower indeed!
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A single flower – Tulip Cherry Delight
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Tulip Cherry Delight with Daffodil Sir Winston Churchill, just when it started blooming – taken in early Spring 2020.
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Tulip Cherry Delight bringing this rather unsightly border to life. We have the train-line on this side of the garden and a very unsightly mesh-fence was used by the railway agency to wall off the garden, much to our frustration!
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Tulip Cherry Delight in the morning sun
red tulips in evening light
Evening light brings them into another deeper pink – stunning!
red tulips in bloom
I have spent hours reveling in the rich reds and pinks which the varying degrees of sun exhibited in these tulips. Are you in love with these yet?
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Tulip Cherry Delight almost finished blooming here with the late Tulip Peppermint Stick joining in the show in the background. They make it a point to leave in grace.
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A close-up of Tulipa Cherry Delight almost done blooming. I let the petals fall as their deep red just adds more interest to the border.
  • It is one of the early blooming tulips but lasts for around 3-4 weeks as per most growers. However, mine (bought from the lovely Farmer Gracy lasted 6 weeks!
  • With its tall stems and attractive flowers, it makes a wonderful cut flower and its vase life is around 2 weeks.
  • Being a single tulip, the flowers are light and do not need staking (unlike many double tulips). Provided you have planted them in full sun and good soil, they will take a reasonable bashing. Mine went through two storms here in London and didn’t bend or break!
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Glowing in the sunlight and blooming well after the daffodils are done and have been deadheaded as you can see from the stem in front of the tulip.

So there you go – that’s one tulip for your garden next year! It will look equally smashing in either pot or in the ground and the deep red is a sure reminder of spring and the glory of summer yet to come. I must say that this tulip has brought me joy when we were faced with the news of the lockdown in the U.K and holds a dear place in my heart. Happy gardening and thank you for visiting!


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