Exotic Emperor Tulip Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor' (13)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
tulip 'Exotic Emperor'


Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor' is a distinctive plant known for its unique and eye-catching flowers. The blooms are large and boast a creamy white color, often with a greenish hue that adds to their exotic appearance. The petals are quite showy and layered, giving them a peony-like form that is both lush and elegant. Most striking are the streaks and feathering of green that adorn the petals, which may also have a hint of yellow at their bases, creating a beautiful contrast against the creamy white backdrop. The leaves of the Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor' are broad and strappy, presenting a deep green color that provides a perfect backdrop for the stunning flowers. They grow in a basal rosette from the bottom of the plant, cradling the flower stems that rise above them. When in full bloom, these plants create a spectacular display that is reminiscent of a traditional tulip form but with a unique, ornamental twist that sets them apart in any garden setting. Their flowering period in the spring is a much-anticipated event for many gardeners who favor these gorgeous and unusual tulips.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Exotic Emperor Tulip, Fosteriana Tulip.

    • Common names

      Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Tulip is considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. If ingested, it can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, ingestion can lead to dizziness, abdominal pain, or even skin irritation. It is important to keep Tulip bulbs, leaves, and flowers out of reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion.

    • To pets

      The Tulip is toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. If a pet ingests any part of a Tulip, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling may occur. In severe cases, ingestion could lead to depression of the central nervous system, an increase in heart rate, and changes in breathing. It is particularly important to keep pets from ingesting the bulbs, which contain the highest concentration of toxic compounds.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      0-1 feet (0-30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor', also known as tulip, adds a visual interest to gardens with its unique flower shape and striking color combination.
    • Spring Blooming: Being a spring-flowering bulb, it provides one of the first splashes of color after winter, signaling the arrival of warmer weather.
    • Versatility: Suitable for borders, pots, and as cut flowers, allowing for diverse uses in landscaping and floral design.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The tulip flowers attract bees and other pollinators, supporting the local ecosystem.
    • Easy Cultivation: Tulips are known for being low maintenance and easy to grow, perfect for beginner gardeners.
    • Color Variety: This particular cultivar offers a distinct color pattern, which can be used to create patterns or focal points in a garden design.
    • Cold Tolerant: Tulips, including the 'Exotic Emperor', are cold-hardy, making them suitable for cooler climates.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The petals of the Tulip 'Exotic Emperor' can be used in salads or as garnishes for a touch of elegance and a splash of spring color.
    • Dried tulip petals can be incorporated into potpourri mixes to add fragrance and a reminder of spring to indoor spaces.
    • Pressed tulip petals and leaves can be used in crafting, such as in handmade paper making or in floral-themed art pieces like bookmarks and greeting cards.
    • Tulip bulbs, including those of 'Exotic Emperor,' can be used in a technique called "forcing" to bloom tulips indoors out of season for special events or as a winter project.
    • In eco-friendly dyeing processes, colorful tulip petals may be used to naturally dye textiles or Easter eggs.
    • Tulip 'Exotic Emperor' can act as a living border or edge for garden pathways, with their distinctive flowers providing a visual guide and enhancing the landscape design.
    • When placed strategically in a garden, they can be used as part of a color-themed garden design, complimenting other plants and flowers.
    • Tulip bulbs are sometimes used in educational projects to teach students about plant growth, biology, and the life cycle of flowering plants.
    • 'Exotic Emperor' tulips can be featured in floral photography and botanical illustration, serving as a subject due to their unique and striking appearance.
    • The long stems of tulips can lend structure and support in mixed flower arrangements, even after the blooms have faded and the stem remains.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Tulip is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Tulip is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Perfect Love: The 'Exotic Emperor' tulip, like other tulips, is commonly associated with perfect love, symbolizing a deep and enduring love that is both beautiful and balanced.
    • Elegance and Grace: The striking appearance of the 'Exotic Emperor' tulip with its white petals and green highlights exudes an air of elegance and grace, making it a symbol for sophistication and poise.
    • Renewal: As tulips are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, they represent rebirth and a fresh start, suggesting the renewal of relationships or beginnings.
    • Charity: The 'Exotic Emperor' tulip's majestic and generous bloom can symbolize charitable feelings and the sharing of abundance with others.
    • Forgiveness: In some cultural contexts, giving a tulip, including the 'Exotic Emperor', is a way to ask for forgiveness, representing an apology and the hope for reconciliation.
    • Deep Passion: Tulips can also signify a deep, burning passion. This might be attributed to their rich, vibrant hues, which in the case of 'Exotic Emperor' are more subtle yet suggest an underlying intensity.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The 'Exotic Emperor' tulip requires moderate watering, particularly when it's actively growing in the spring. Water these bulbs once a week, ensuring that the soil is kept moist but not waterlogged. Depending on soil type and rainfall, you might need to adjust the frequency. A good rule of thumb is to provide about half a gallon of water per square foot every week during the active growth phase. It's essential to reduce watering once the flowering period is over and allow the soil to dry out as the foliage begins to die back.

  • sunLight

    'Exotic Emperor' tulips perform best in full sun to partial shade. A location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight is ideal for these flowers. Make sure the spot is well-exposed to morning light, which is gentler and less likely to cause damage compared to the intense afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates.

  • thermometerTemperature

    'Exotic Emperor' tulips thrive in a temperature range that allows for a cold dormancy period, which is crucial for bulb development. The ideal growing temperatures are between 60°F and 70°F during their growing season. They require a period of cold winter chill, where temperatures should stay between 35°F and 55°F, to promote proper spring blooming. These tulips can survive short-lived dips down to as low as 20°F but should not be exposed to prolonged severe freezes.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning 'Exotic Emperor' tulips involves deadheading spent flowers after they bloom to prevent the plant from spending energy on seed production. Snip off the faded blooms, leaving the foliage in place. Avoid pruning the foliage until it has completely died back, usually by late spring or early summer, because the leaves help store energy in the bulb for next year's growth. Pruning is typically done once a year after flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Exotic Emperor tulip should be well-draining with a mix of loamy soil, sand, and compost to nourish the bulbs. Ensure that the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Exotic Emperor tulips, being perennials, do not need to be repotted often. They should be replanted annually in the fall, as the bulbs require a cold dormant period.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Exotic Emperor tulips thrive best in outdoor conditions with natural humidity levels; they do not have specific humidity requirements indoors but prefer not to be overly wet.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in cool, bright area; plant in well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant bulbs in fall, full sun, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Tulip 'Exotic Emperor', like other tulips, begins its life cycle as a bulb planted in fall before the first frost. The bulb goes through a period of cold dormancy over the winter, which is vital for the development of the flower. In early spring, the bulb breaks dormancy and starts to sprout, sending up leaves and a flower stalk. The plant blooms in mid to late spring, producing a large white flower with distinct green markings that attracts pollinators. After flowering, the plant enters a senescence stage where the leaves yellow and die back as the bulb draws back nutrients to prepare for the next cycle. The bulb then goes dormant through the summer, ready to begin the cycle again the following fall.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The Exotic Emperor Tulip is typically propagated through bulb division. The best time for propagating these tulips is in the fall, after the bulbs have been dug up and the foliage has died back. During this period, the bulbs are dormant, which is a natural resting phase for them. The propagation process involves carefully removing the primary bulb from the ground and gently separating any small bulbs, known as offsets, that have formed at the base of the main bulb. These offsets are essentially clones of the mother plant and can be replanted immediately to grow and mature into flowering bulbs. It's important to plant the bulbs at a depth of about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) to provide sufficient insulation from cold temperatures and to foster proper root development.