15 Orange Tulip Varieties For Vibrant Garden Color

Thinking about planting some orange tulips in your garden, but aren't quite sure where to start? There are many different orange tulip varieties to choose from, depending on your hardiness zone. In this article, certified master gardener Liz Jaros examines her favorite tulips that bloom in vibrant shades of orange.

orange tulips

Like the sun itself, intensifying in spring to warm our winter-weary hearts, tulips always deliver a bright and cheerful message in the landscape. When tulips have orange blooms, it can symbolize joy, happiness, and good fortune. The color orange in your garden can have a powerful effect on our moods and spirits.

While it’s not typically a color we associate with spring bulbs, there are actually a good number of orange tulips that can be grown in your garden. Botanists have responded to a demand for this invigorating color by developing dozens of sunny new cultivars, and now there are plenty to choose from.

Here, we sift through some of the most popular orange tulips and propose a few for you to try at home. Read on for detailed descriptions of their unique characteristics and growing requirements.

‘Orange Emperor’

Close-up of blooming flowers of Tulipa 'Orange Emperor' against a slightly blurred background. The cup-shaped flowers are true orange with a yellow base and slightly green feathers on the outside of the petals. The edges of the petals are slightly curved outward. Stems are long and strong. Leaves are bluish-green in color, large, oval with narrowed tips
‘Orange Emperor’ blooms in mid-spring with magnificent true orange flowers with prominent black anthers.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Orange Emperor’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 16-18 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Petals are large and ovate with some ruffling on this lovely Emperor class tulip. Coloring is true orange with a buttercup yellow base and center streaks. Anthers are dark black and prominent.

This variety has long stems and blooms in mid spring. It can take a good amount of wind and sways beautifully in the breeze. Pair with yellow tulips, crocus or daffodils for a sunny spring grouping.

‘Desert Sun’

Close-up of Tulipa 'Desert Sun' flower in full bloom against tulips in bloom in a garden in full sun. The flower is large, cup-shaped, consists of 6 petals of a bright golden-orange color with a darker edging.
‘Desert Sun’ is an early flowering tulip variety that has bright golden petals with darker edging.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Desert Sun’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 18-20 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

On this Darwin Hybrid tulip, petals are a bright golden-orange with a rich, dark edging. Blossoms are egg shaped and large. Foliage is ruffled, bright green, and upright, while stems are particularly long.

Plant ‘Desert Sun’ in a large group for a sunny front yard vibe, or work it into the cutting garden. Like all Darwins, this cultivar is easy to force into early bloom and lasts a long time in a vase.

‘Orange Marmalade’

Tulipa 'Marmalade' blooming flowers in abundance among thin, ribbon-like, bright green foliage. The blooms are large, cup-shaped, have bright orange oval-shaped petals with unique green stripes. Some green tulip buds have not yet bloomed.
‘Marmalade’ is a delightful tulip variety producing bright orange flowers with unique green stripes on the outside of the petals.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Marmalade’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 16-22 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid/Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Predominantly the color of ripe melon with yellow feathering, this cultivar is a Viridiflora category tulip. Its petals have bold green streaks that give it a unique personality, and it demands attention in any yard or bouquet.

Bloom colors will change, blend, and evolve throughout the Marmalade’s 2-3 week bloom period in mid-late spring. Foliage is thin, strappy and bright green.

‘Ballerina’

Large flower bed with bright orange-red 'Ballerina' tulips blooming in the garden. The blooms are beautiful, have long pointed petals, curved outward at the windows. The color of the petals is orangish-red with a richer crimson central flame and yellowish edges. Stems are thin and long. The leaves are long, thin, and bright green with slightly ruffled edges.
‘Ballerina’ produces orange-red flowers with petals curved outwards at the ends.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Ballerina’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 16-22 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

A graceful tulip in the Lily Flowering class, ‘Ballerina’ features long, pointed petals that arch outward at the tips. Coloring is marigold orange with central flames of crimson and slightly yellow margins.

Stems are slim but strong and bend toward the sun during daylight hours. Flowers are highly fragrant, making them an excellent choice for beds or containers near a window or entryway.

‘Prinses Irene’

Close-up of 'Princes Irene' tulips blooming among bluish-green large foliage. The flowers are large, goblet-shaped, with petals of a soft orange color turning into a beautiful wine color in the center. Stems are thick, purple-brown.
‘Princes Irene’ is a delightful tulip variety with majestic soft orange flowers with vinous accents in the center of the petals.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 15-18 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Petals are a soft orange that bleed into a beautiful wine color at their centers. Blooms are large, whimsical, and cup-shaped, opening fully when the sun is out and closing up at night.

Stems are modest in length and foliage sometimes exceeds blooms in height, creating a nesting effect that’s quite unique. As a Single Early Tulip, ‘Prinses Irene’ forces easily and smells wonderful.

‘King’s Orange’

Top view, close-up of densely blooming bright tulip 'King's Orange'. The blooms are cup-shaped, composed of heart-shaped petals. The petals have a rich fiery orange color in the center and a lighter color at the edges.
‘King’s Orange’ has vividly colored flowers with heart-shaped petals.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘King’s Orange’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 12-14 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

This variety features petals with multiple hues of orange ranging in intensity from soft to fiery. Petals are heart-shaped and open to reveal yellow centers rimmed by black anthers.

Foliage is low and mounded. Like all Triumph variety tulips, this cultivar has strong stems and excellent endurance after cutting. Plant in well drained soil and mix in with other bright pink or yellow spring bloomers.

‘Monte Orange’

Close-up of a Tulipa 'Monte Orange' flower in full sun with orange tulips blooming in a garden. The flowers are large, peony-shaped, composed of many layers of fringed petals.
‘Monte Orange’ are peony tulips with multiple layers of bright orange petals and greyish green curved foliage.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Monte Orange’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 16-18 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Early/Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

A double flower darling with multiple layers of fringy, carrot-orange petals that open like a peony, ‘Monte Orange’ has blooms that are up to 6 inches wide. Foliage is slightly ruffled, sage green, and slightly incurved.

‘Monte’ is a Double Early tulip, which means stems are shorter than average and flowers last exceptionally long in a vase. This variety can also tolerate some shade, so it works well beneath a dappled tree canopy.

‘Daydream’

Close-up of several blooming bright 'Daydream' tulips against a backdrop of blooming tulips in a garden. The blooms are large, cup-shaped, the petals are slightly ruffled at the edges. The petals are deep orange with a paler base.
‘Daydream’ is a gorgeous tulip variety with pale orange petals that turn apricot pink over weeks.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Daydream’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 18-20 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Oversized flowers on this Darwin Hybrid tulip are a classic egg shape with some ruffling at the edges. Early in their bloom period, Daydream’s petals are a sunny, pale, orange, but they become brighter with passing weeks and ultimately move toward apricot-pink.

Leave foliage in place after bloom time is complete, and this cultivar will keep returning for many years to come.

‘Foxy Foxtrot’

Close-up of many blooming incredibly beautiful and bright tulips 'Foxy Foxtrot'. The blooms are large, double, cup-shaped. Tulip petals are a watercolor mix of orange and pink tones. The edges of the petals are slightly wavy.
This incredibly beautiful tulip variety produces flowers in a blend of soft orange and salmon pink tones.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Foxy Foxtrot’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 12-16 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid/Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Petals are a watercolor blend of soft oranges and salmon pinks on this Double Early tulip. Blossoms are multiple layered and incurved, resembling a peony or a rose. Stems are short and sturdy, so it holds up well to high winds.

Foliage is narrow, dark green and upright, forming a dense bed beneath blooms. Pair with pink tulips, hyacinth or creeping phlox for a nice spring companion.

‘Sunlover’

Close-up of two double 'Sunlover' tulips against a blurred background of blooming tulips amid dark green foliage. The flowers are large, peony-shaped, open, consists of many layers of petals. Tulip petals are a mixture of golden tangerine and orange-red tones.
‘Sunlover’ is a gorgeous double tulip variety with golden tangerine-orange-red petals.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Sunlover’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 16-18 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Another tulip that changes colors throughout its blooming period, Sunlover begins golden and moves toward tangerine before finishing orange-red. As a Double Late tulip, this cultivar needs a cold, consistent winter in order to flower properly. It may not be a great choice for gardeners in zones 7 or above.

‘Little Princess’

Top view, close-up of 'Little Princess' tulips in bloom. Lily-shaped flowers, fully open, have pointed petals fanned out in a round beam. The color of the tulip at the tips is bright orange with a brown center in a yellow border and large brown anthers.
‘Little Princess’ has lily-shaped flowers with bright orange pointed petals.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Little Princess’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 4-8 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

This Wildflower tulip has a lily-shaped bloom with pointed petals fanned out in a circular ray. Color is burnt orange at the tips with a yellow-rimmed brown center and large brown anthers.

Little Princess is short, hardy, and spreads easily. Use it in an area where it’s allowed to roam and it will naturalize. It tolerates uneven terrain and tree roots, and can handle a little shade.

‘Valdivia’

Close-up of several blooming double 'Valdivia' tulips against a blurred background of bluish-green foliage. Tulips are large, cup-shaped, double, consist of many petals arranged in layers in several rows. The petals are slightly ruffled, with several shades of orange ranging from pale apricot to richer orange hues.
‘Valdivia’ produces magnificent double flowers in several shades of orange from pale apricot to richer ocher.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Valdivia’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 10-12 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Early/Mid Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Several shades of orange can be appreciated on Valdivia’s oversized, fully double blooms. Its peony-like, ruffly petals vary from pale apricot to bold sienna and everything in between.

Like other Double Early cultivars, Valdivia is short in stature and blooms early. Its stems are sturdy and its foliage is broad and sword-like. Use it in the front of a mixed spring border and make sure you grow some extras for cutting!

‘Orange Pride’

Image of four blooming 'Orange Pride' tulips against a blurred background of blooming tulips and bright green foliage. Classic tulip-shaped flowers, goblet-shaped, with petals that combine shades of peach, pumpkin and salmon. The base of the flower is white, gradually turning into a soft peach shade. The petals are slightly ruffled at the edges.
This gorgeous tulip variety prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Orange Pride’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 18-22 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid/Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Flower heads on this classic, Darwin Hybrid tulip are 5 inches tall with petals that blend shades of peach, pumpkin, and salmon. Blooming mid-season on strong, extra long stems, this variety is often selected for mass plantings, but it will also grow well in a container on the front porch.

This cultivar multiplies quickly when planted in a bed that drains well and gets plenty of sunshine. Pair it with other flowers in blush and buttercup tones for a soft pastel palette.

‘Brown Sugar’

Image of many 'Brown Sugar' tulips in bloom against a blurred green background. The flowers are large, cup-shaped, have a warm brown-orange base and golden apricot edges.
‘Brown Sugar’ produces beautiful velvety brown-orange tulips with golden edges.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Brown Sugar’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 18-22 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Mid/Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

Petals have a warm, brown-orange base with golden apricot edges on this lovely Triumph tulip. They’re ovate in shape and slightly incurved. Oversized blooms open wide during the day to soak up the sun.

Stems are dark green to burgundy in color and stand tall in volatile spring weather. Brown Sugar has a sweet, pleasant scent and an extra long vase life.

‘Orange Balloon’

Image of many blooming orange 'Orange Balloon' tulips in the garden. The flowers are large, goblet-shaped, with bright orange petals and tangerine edges. The stems are long and strong.
‘Orange Balloon’ blooms with beautiful bright orange flowers with tangerine edges.
Scientific Name: Tulipa ‘Orange Balloon’
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia
  • Plant Size: 18-20 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

This Darwin Hybrid stunner appears to glow from within atop long, sturdy stems. Blooms are round and full, averaging 5 inches tall and wide. Petals emerge as a bright vivid orange with tangerine edges and mature to a rich, golden bronze as the weeks progress.

This low maintenance cultivar is pest and disease resistant. It will return for many years to come if drainage is good and foliage is left in place after blooming is complete.

Final Thoughts

The color orange can be bright and invigorating or warm and comforting. Determine which effect you’re going for and select the tulip varieties that will work with your vibe. Choose companion plants that will contrast and/or complement your tulip palette, and make sure they have similar growing requirements.

Few colors stimulate the senses and awaken our spirits like orange. Whether planted formally in rows, in an urn by the front door, or in a casual drift along the cottage garden path, orange tulips are a sunny, cheerful sight for sore eyes in spring.

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