Tulip Tulipa 'National Velvet' (3)

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


Tulipa 'National Velvet', commonly known as the tulip, is a captivating plant renowned for its striking flowers. The blooms of this variety are particularly eye-catching, with deep velvety red petals that can appear almost black in certain lighting conditions. The flower shape is classically cupped, sometimes with a slightly flared rim, which gives it a sophisticated look that is much admired in ornamental horticulture. The glossy petals have a smooth, luxurious texture, adding to their rich and sumptuous appearance. The color saturation is intense, drawing the eye and often making 'National Velvet' a focal point in gardens and floral arrangements. Inside the bloom, there are usually six distinct petals, and each petal often has a slightly different curvature, giving the flower a lively, dynamic appeal. The foliage of the tulip 'National Velvet' complements its dramatic flowers. The leaves tend to be a lush green, with a typical lanceolate or sword-like shape. They are broad at the base and taper to a point, often with a slight wave or curl to the edges, which adds an elegant contrast to the solid, upright flowers. This variety, like many tulips, emerges from a bulb each spring and produces its breathtaking display for a few cherished weeks. As with other tulips, after flowering, the plant will die back, but the bulb remains underground, ready to generate new growth and blooms the following year. Overall, the tulip 'National Velvet' is a testament to both the beauty that can be found in simplicity and the depth that can be evident in a single color.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms


    • Common names

      Tulipa 'National Velvet'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Tulips are generally not highly toxic to humans, but they can cause mild to moderate symptoms if ingested in significant quantities. The entire tulip plant, particularly the bulb, contains compounds that can be irritating to the digestive system. If tulip parts, especially the bulbs, are consumed, symptoms might include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the bulbs can also cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in skin irritation or dermatitis. While severe poisoning is unlikely, it is still advisable to keep Tulipa 'National Velvet', or tulips in general, out of the reach of children who may be tempted to eat them.

    • To pets

      Tulips are toxic to pets, particularly to cats and dogs. The plant contains allergenic lactones and other compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. The bulbs of the Tulipa 'National Velvet', as with all tulips, contain the highest concentration of these toxic compounds. If a pet ingests part of a tulip plant, especially the bulb, it may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and in some cases, increased heart rate and difficulty breathing. While serious complications are not common, ingestion can lead to significant gastrointestinal distress, so it is best to prevent pets from accessing these plants. If you suspect that your pet has eaten any part of a tulip, consult a veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      3-6 inches (8-15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its deep red, velvety flowers, the Tulip 'National Velvet' adds vibrant color and beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Pollinator Attraction: These tulips attract bees and other pollinators, which are essential for the pollination of many plants.
    • Easy to Grow: Tulips, including the 'National Velvet' variety, are known for being easy to cultivate, making them suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Spring Bloom: As a spring-blooming bulb, this tulip provides an early splash of color after the winter months.
    • Works Well in Cut Flower Arrangements: Tulip 'National Velvet' makes excellent cut flowers due to their strong stems and long vase life.
    • Diversity of Use: These tulips can be planted in beds, borders, containers, and as part of mass plantings for a dramatic effect.

  • 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

    • Tulip 'National Velvet' petals can be used to make natural dyes for fabrics or paper crafting, providing hues ranging from pink to deep red.
    • The sturdy stems of the tulip can be used in floral arrangements as supports for more delicate flowers, helping them to stand upright.
    • The unique texture of Tulip 'National Velvet' petals can be used in sensory garden designs, adding a tactile element for visitors to enjoy.
    • When dried, the petals of the tulip can be incorporated into potpourri blends to add color and a subtle fragrance.
    • The bloom of the tulip can serve as an artistic muse, inspiring paintings, photographs, and other visual art forms.
    • During blooming season, the tulips can be a natural way to add a splash of color to lawns or public spaces that might otherwise lack visual interest.
    • The shape of Tulip 'National Velvet' makes it a candidate for crafting floral jewelry, such as petal earrings or blossom necklaces.
    • Tulip petals can be pressed and used in creating bookmarks, greeting cards, or other paper-based crafts.
    • The bulbs of Tulip 'National Velvet' can be used as educational tools in botany classes to demonstrate parts of a plant and growth cycles.
    • Tulip festivals featuring varieties like 'National Velvet' can serve as cultural events that bring communities together to celebrate spring.

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 Tulip is often regarded as a symbol of perfect and deep love. Because of its balanced and symmetrical form, the tulip represents an ideal and enduring love between partners or family members.
    • Prosperity and Abundance - Historically, tulips were incredibly valuable and associated with abundance and indulgence. The 'National Velvet' variety, with its rich, luxurious color, might also be linked to wealth and prosperity.
    • Charity - The 'National Velvet', like other tulips, can represent charity. Its warm, inviting bloom reflects the openness and generosity of spirit.
    • Fame - Tulips can symbolize fame and being so deeply loved that they become legendary, resonating with the 'National Velvet's' standout hues and eye-catching beauty.
    • Royalty - Their majestic stance and lush petals allow tulips to be associated with royalty and regal power, attributes enriched by the 'National Velvet's' royal purple color.

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

    Tulips, including the 'National Velvet' variety, require moderate watering during their growing season, typically in the spring. They should be watered deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch, which may be around once a week depending on soil conditions and climate. Employ a gentle watering method to avoid disturbing the bulbs or causing erosion, targeting the base of the plant without wetting the foliage. A good rule of thumb is to provide about a half gallon of water for each square foot every seven days, ensuring consistent soil moisture but not overwatering, which can lead to bulb rot.

  • sunLight

    Tulips favor full sunlight to bloom profusely, and 'National Velvet' tulips are no exception. They thrive best in a location where they can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Position them in a spot that gets the morning sun, as this helps dry dew on the leaves, reducing the risk of fungal diseases. Avoid areas that are heavily shaded, as too little light can result in weak stems and poor flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tulips, including 'National Velvet', prefer cool winters and spring temperatures to trigger proper development and flowering. They typically survive winter temperatures down to about 20°F and during their growing season, flourish in a temperature range between 50°F and 70°F. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 70°F can cause heat stress, while ideal growth occurs at the cooler end of this spectrum. It is essential to plant them in the fall to ensure they receive the necessary chilling period to bloom in the spring.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning 'National Velvet' tulips involves deadheading spent flowers to redirect energy to the bulb for the next year's growth. This should be done as soon as the petals start to fall, but leave the foliage intact until it has yellowed and died back naturally, typically by late spring or early summer. Pruning is not needed during the blooming period, except for removing wilted blooms; regular pruning is solely focused on post-bloom care.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Tulips like well-draining, fertile soil with neutral to slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A mix of compost, loamy soil, and sand is ideal for the 'National Velvet' Tulip to promote healthy growth and bulb development. Regularly enriched soil with organic matter will provide the best environment for tulips to flourish.

  • plantRepotting

    'National Velvet' Tulips, like other tulips, do not require frequent repotting and are typically planted annually. The bulbs are best planted in the fall before the ground freezes, and after blooming in spring, they can be dug up and stored until the next planting season. It's not necessary to repot if they are left in the ground to naturalize.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tulips, including 'National Velvet', are not particularly humidity sensitive and can thrive in average outdoor conditions. They are tolerant of the climate fluctuations encountered in a typical temperate outdoor spring environment. As long as there is adequate air circulation, the exact humidity level is not critical for their growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with cool temps.

    • Outdoor

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

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Tulipa 'National Velvet', commonly known as the "Tulip", begins its life cycle as a bulb planted in the fall, ideally before the first frost, which stays dormant during winter. As temperatures warm in spring, the bulb breaks dormancy and sprouts, producing stems, leaves, and a flower bud. The bud grows and develops into a vibrant, velvety red flower typically in mid to late spring. After flowering, the tulip's petals fall, and the plant focuses on replenishing the bulb's energy reserves through its foliage. Once the leaves yellow and wither, the plant goes back into dormancy through the summer and the cycle can repeat the following spring. If seed production occurs after flowering, it can lead to new bulb formation, but typically the bulbs are propagated by division to maintain the specific qualities of the 'National Velvet' variety.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: Tulipa 'National Velvet', commonly known as the tulip 'National Velvet', is typically propagated through the division of bulbs, the most popular method for this plant. The ideal time to propagate these tulips is in the fall, when the bulbs are dormant. A few weeks after the foliage has died back completely, usually in late summer or early fall, the bulbs can be gently lifted from the soil. The outer bulbs, which are the offsets, can then be separated from the mother bulb and replanted immediately. It's important to plant them at a depth three times the height of the bulb, which is generally about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) deep, to ensure proper root development and flowering in the following spring.