Spring warmth drives early tulip bloom at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Tulips at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "We plant them in the fall, then come up, and somewhere around the first couple of weeks in April, it's tulip time," said Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Earlier this month, the tulips at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botancial Garden began to bloom about a week earlier than average thanks to warmer than average temperatures.

Foltz said, "With the heat, they go fast. When it's cooler weather, they tend to last a little longer. But tulips are tough."

Tulips are tough enough to handle the heat, but they can also weather very cold temperatures.

"Frosts and freezes do not hurt tulips at all, which is nice for us. Magnolias tend to have problems when we have those freezes and frosts, but tulips - I've seen them take down to 17° in bloom, and they are just fine," explained Foltz.

While he admits they are eye candy, Foltz says tulips show an important initiative at the zoo: diversity.

Foltz said, "Lots of different, trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and annuals. All wildlife depends on plants. We depend on plants. It's very important that we show of a wide range of plants that you can use right here in the Greater Cincinnati area."

Foltz says it takes weeks of preparation and effort to create this colorful display, but he's happy to see visitors enjoy it.

"It's really a neat thing to see. It's a lot of work, but when you see how beautiful it is in the spring, it's rewarding," said Foltz.

Even though the tulips here at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden have peaked, don't forget: there are nearly 3,000 other species still in bloom throughout the spring.

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