Tulip Bulb Scams – Don’t buy “fresh” tulip bulbs during springtime!

Tulip Bulb Scams
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Tulips in Amsterdam
Comments (14)
  1. Aden says:

    If, after planting tulip bulbs in the spring, you got no flowers, don’t assume they are completely dead. In fact, the bulb may just need another fall and winter to build up enough nutrients to bloom next spring.

  2. Sahrish says:

    Do you know about the free bulbs package worth € 3.95 included within the Combi ticket for Keukenhof with train + bus + entrance? Do they have other flowers or tulips? I guess if they are tulips they will be useless and that’s why they are free. Sorry for the stupid question!

    1. Nienke says:

      I am sure that there will be no tulip bulbs package included in the combi ticket. See http://tulipsinholland.com/2015/02/tulip-bulb-scams-dont-buy-tulip-bulbs-springtime. The only bulbs you can buy now are summer bulbs. Have a wonderful time visiting Keukenhof.

  3. Elizabeth Snyman says:

    What bulbs can I buy now. I live in South Africa in an area with a very mild climate. Obviously tulips will not grow there!

    1. Nienke says:

      Hmm not sure what other bulbs are suitable for a mild climate with opposite seasons than the Dutch seasons. I think it is best to order bulbs at a local flower farm in South Africa so you will have fresh bulbs (the bulbs that are fresh now in Holland are the summer bulbs but you are heading towards wintertime and not summer time)

  4. Yvonne Rudolph says:

    I should have known better. I’m currently studying in Holland, and I wanted to send my mother something “Dutch” for her birthday. Late April. A friend suggested tulips. I stopped at a florist shop outside the central station in the Hague. Purchased several packages of bulbs and the girl at the counter gift wrapped them for me. then I took them to the post and shipped them home. Pfft. When I spoke to my mother later, she sadly informed me that the bulbs were rotten when she opened them Only after that did I read up and learn that bulbs are planted in the fall and not sold by reputable dealers in winter and spring.

  5. Lori says:

    My husband just bought me bulbs from a flower shop in Amsterdam. We live in the PNW, and planting season is Autumn. What a bummer. He even got me blue tulips! The thought that counts though.

  6. Angela Lessler says:

    Hi Nienke. Thanks on the updates and particularly for the education on buying tulip bulbs, What you said is true about the sale of bulb with picture label – I bought 4 amaryllis bulbs from Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam..I took some time to decide on the colour and variety and then choose the bulbs carefully. They were supposed to be 3 different varieties (2 of which was same variety) but haha… when they bloomed, it was all the same colour and variety. False marketing! And yup, we were kinda disappointed since we waited eagerly to admire the different varieties.

    1. Nienke says:

      I am so sorry to hear this! 🙁 I hope you still had a lovely time in Amsterdam. Wishing you a lovely springtime! Kind regards, Nienke

  7. Frank Malovrh says:

    Great article and very valuable. I will be in Amsterdam and Keukenhof in a month (my 2nd trip) and was planning on buying bulbs for my daughter. Instead, I will get the alternatives you suggested at the end of your article.

    Can anyone suggest a reputable bulb dealer in Amsterdam, like at the flower market? Can I get these summer bulbs at Keulenhof?

    1. Nienke says:

      You can buy your flower bulbs online (not at the flower market) and in season and that is around august/ september in all garden centers in the Netherlands

  8. Leslie says:

    Another problem to look out for is specific to U.S. tourists. I learned the hard way that U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires a current, valid inspection certificate before bringing flower bulbs back home to the U.S. The border agent was very helpful in showing me an example of what these certificates look like and explaining that it’s to protect from bringing diseases into the country. My bulbs didn’t have the inspection certificates, so they had to be left at the airport to be destroyed. I even showed my passport at the market where I bought the tulip bulbs, so they knew I wouldn’t be able to get them home.

  9. Jane Grimshaw says:

    I buy my bulbs any time of year online from reputable seller, the difference being that I only ever getmybulbs in sept/oct when they are ready to plant. I have never had a “duff” bulb yet! It pays to spend a little more time and money seeking out a good seller.

  10. Dan Johnson says:

    This article was very informative. I just completed a two week visit to Holland and am looking to purchase some tulip bulbs. I would never had known had I not read this. I’ve since confirmed with other sources. So here’s the question: What reputable dealer should I order from?

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