Climate change is bad for tulips, too

The Netherlands’ hottest tulip destination, Keukenhof, is, well, getting hotter. And that’s not good for the tulips.

In an interview with nu.nl, Keukenhof director Bart Siemerink said that the park had needed to plant about thirty percent more bulbs this year, in order to have the usual colourful display ready for visitors from March onwards. Although this year the winter has been very mild, the new volatility of the climate as a result of climate change will be a general problem for Keukenhof in the future.

Temperatures are increasingly unpredictable

“We see that the winter weather has become much more volatile in recent years,” says Siemerink. “Temperature peaks and troughs alternate at a rapid pace. And following nature: it is currently 12 degrees outside, so the first leaves are already rising above the ground. It is early January, so that is indeed relatively early.”

Wider variety of plants

In addition to planting more bulbs, Keukenhof staff are also using a wider variety of plants in order to ensure the best possible chance of a colourful show. “We have started to plant more different species that flower sooner or later in the season,” Siemerink says. “And we plant 30 percent more bulbs to prevent certain fields from failing and in the weeks that we open are not offering the flowers that people come for. ”

One and a half million visitors each year

For a park that relies on the seasons, climate change is already posing a challenge to Keukenhof, which attracts one and a half million people to Lisse in South Holland each year between mid March and mid May.

What other effects do you think climate change will have? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: susan-lu4esm/Pixabay

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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