Red Riding Hood Tulip Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood' (14)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
tulip 'Red Riding Hood'


Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood' features striking cup-shaped flowers that are known for their vibrant red hue. The petals often display a glossy or satiny texture which gives them a shimmering effect under the sunlight. Inside the bloom, the flower's base usually contrasts with a black or dark center highlighted by a yellow margin, creating a dramatic and eye-catching appearance. The leaves of 'Red Riding Hood' are noteworthy as well; they are a rich green color, sometimes streaked with deep purple to near-black markings. These leaves are typically broad, lance-shaped, and can have a somewhat wavy or curled edge, adding to the overall ornamental quality of the plant. This tulip variety has a bold and bright presence in any garden, bringing the classic charm of tulip forms with a striking palette that makes it a favorite in spring displays.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Red Riding Hood Tulip

    • Common names

      Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Tulip 'Red Riding Hood' is considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. If ingested, it can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal upset, which might include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Serious poisoning is rare, but if large quantities are consumed, particularly the bulbs, it could result in more severe symptoms including dizziness, abdominal pain, or even cardiac arrhythmias. It is advisable to avoid consuming any part of the plant and to seek medical advice if ingestion occurs.

    • To pets

      Tulip 'Red Riding Hood' is toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. The plant contains allergenic lactones and other compounds which, if ingested, can cause gastrointestinal irritation manifesting as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or even depression. The most toxic part of the plant is the bulb. If a pet ingests a significant amount of the tulip, particularly the bulbs, it could lead to more serious symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and changes in breathing. If you suspect your pet has eaten any part of a tulip, it is important to contact a veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10 inches (25 cm)

    • Spread

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Vibrant Color: Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood' adds bold red color to gardens, creating a striking visual impact.
    • Spring Interest: Blooms early in spring, providing one of the first splashes of color after winter.
    • Easily Grown: Adaptable to a variety of garden conditions and soil types, making it relatively easy to grow for gardeners of all levels.
    • Compact Height: Its shorter stature is ideal for front-of-border positions or for growing in containers.
    • Naturalizing: Capable of naturalizing in a garden, meaning it can spread and proliferate over time.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Attracts bees and other pollinators, which are vital for the health of many ecosystems and gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for those with limited time for gardening.
    • Decorative Cut Flower: Makes for an excellent cut flower, allowing you to bring the beauty of your garden indoors.
    • Variegated Foliage: Offers attractive variegated foliage along with its flowers, adding to the plant's ornamental value.
    • Symbolic: Tulips are often associated with perfect love and fame, making them a meaningful addition to any landscape.

  • 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

    • Dye Production: The petals of the Red Riding Hood tulip can be used to produce a natural dye for fabrics or artisanal crafts, offering shades of red and pink depending on the mordant used.
    • Photography Subject: Gardeners and photographers may plant Red Riding Hood tulips to capture their vibrant colors and unique shapes, adding aesthetic value to their portfolios or floral photography collections.
    • Wedding Decor: Red Riding Hood tulips can be incorporated into wedding bouquets or centerpieces for their striking color and elegant form, providing a symbol of love and springtime happiness.
    • Educational Tool: Schools and educational programs can use Red Riding Hood tulips to teach students about plant biology, bulb growth cycles, and the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems.
    • Gastronomy: The petals of Red Riding Hood tulips can be used as a colorful garnish for upscale culinary dishes, although they should be used sparingly as not all tulip varieties are safe for consumption.
    • Art Supplies: Petals from the Red Riding Hood tulip can be incorporated into papermaking or used to create botanical prints, providing texture and color to art projects.
    • Landscape Design: This tulip variety can be used in creative landscape patterns, such as color blocking or border planting, to enhance the visual appeal of public and private gardens.
    • Floral Arrangement Classes: The Red Riding Hood tulip can serve as a teaching material in floral design courses, helping students to learn about balance, color, and texture in arrangements.
    • Mood Enhancement: The bright red color of the Red Riding Hood tulip can be used in color therapy practices, potentially boosting mood and creating a sense of cheerfulness in an environment.
    • Eco-friendly Confetti: Dried petals of Red Riding Hood tulips can be used as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper confetti at celebrations, decomposing naturally without harming the environment.

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

    • Love: The 'Red Riding Hood' tulip, with its vibrant red color, is often associated with deep and passionate love.
    • Perfect Love: A tulip's classic shape symbolizes perfect love, making it a popular choice for romantic occasions.
    • Confidence: The strong and bold appearance of the 'Red Riding Hood' tulip can represent confidence and self-assuredness.
    • Happiness: Tulips are generally linked to happiness and cheerfulness; their presence can brighten someone's day.
    • Spring: As a herald of spring, tulips, including 'Red Riding Hood', symbolize new beginnings and rebirth.

When soil dries out
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Red Tulips should be watered deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch, about once or twice a week depending on weather conditions. The goal is to avoid soggy soil, which can lead to bulb rot. Thoroughly soak the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. In a typical garden setting, this could equate to around 1 to 2 gallons of water per square yard per watering session. During active growth in spring, ensure consistent moisture, especially if rainfall is scarce.

  • sunLight

    Red Tulips perform best in full sunlight, meaning at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. They can tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter climates, but blooming may not be as robust. The best spot is an open area without tall trees or buildings shading the plant during peak sun hours.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Red Tulips thrive in a temperature range that involves cool spring temperatures, typically between 50°F and 65°F during their growth period. They can endure winter cold down to around -20°F, although they should be planted about 8 inches deep to insulate the bulbs. For optimal blooming, the ideal daytime temperatures are cool to moderate, avoiding prolonged exposure to temperatures above 70°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Red Tulips do not require extensive pruning, but spent flowers should be removed by deadheading to prevent seed formation, which can divert energy from the bulb. After blooming in the spring, pruning involves cutting back the flower stem but leaving the foliage until it dies back naturally. This annual pruning allows the plant to focus on storing energy in the bulb for the next season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The ideal soil mix for Red Riding Hood tulips should be well-draining with a slight sandy component to prevent waterlogging. A mix of two-thirds loamy soil and one-third sand or gritty material is recommended. These tulips thrive in soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Red Riding Hood tulips are typically grown from bulbs and do not require frequent repotting. Once planted, the bulbs can remain in the same spot for several years as long as the soil conditions remain favorable. However, after flowering, it's common to lift the bulbs and store them during the dormant period, usually every 3 to 5 years, and then replant them in the fall.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Red Riding Hood tulips prefer outdoor conditions and do not require specific humidity levels. They are quite tolerant of the varying outdoor humidity levels experienced in temperate climates. Ensuring adequate soil drainage is more critical than managing humidity for these tulips.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, well-draining soil, minimal water.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in fall, full sun, well-drained soil, no standing water.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of a Tulip 'Red Riding Hood' begins with the planting of a bulb in autumn before the ground freezes. The bulb, which is a storage organ, remains dormant underground during winter, conserving energy. In early spring, triggered by rising temperatures and increasing daylight, it sprouts and the shoot emerges from the soil, forming leaves and a stem. By mid-spring, the iconic red flowers bloom, providing an ornamental display for a few weeks. After the flowers fade, the plant enters a period of senescence; the leaves yellow and die back as the bulb redirects nutrients for storage. The cycle closes with the bulb entering dormancy once again in the summer, lying in wait to repeat the process the next spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: Tulip 'Red Riding Hood', like other tulip cultivars, is typically propagated through division of its bulbs. The best time for this process is in the late summer or fall after the foliage has died back and the plant has gone dormant. To propagate, carefully dig up the bulbs, taking care not to damage them. Remove any offsets, which are small bulbs that form at the base of a larger bulb, gently breaking them apart if necessary. After separating the bulbs, replant them immediately at a depth about three times the height of the bulb, which is generally around 6 to 8 inches (about 15 to 20 centimeters). Make sure to plant the bulbs in well-draining soil with the pointy end up. Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly to encourage root growth before the winter arrives.