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Get Your Tulips to Tango

When winter gets me down, I attempt to energize my home with a bouquet of dazzling tulips, one of my favorite flowers! A vase of fresh tulips is both elegant and colorful, so I purchase them often while they are in season. However, I have learned over the seasons that cut tulips tend to have a mind of their own and to my dismay, I find they die quickly or do not hold the beauty that was seen in the pretty package at Trader Joe’s. 

So, in an attempt to extend the life of these happy flowers, I have been experimenting with several techniques to get the most out of my tulips. I am by no means a florist, but here is what I’ve learned about caring for fresh cut tulips: 

Arranging Fresh Cut Tulips

  1. Pour cold water into the vase until it is half full.
  2. Using a sharp knife or pruners, diagonally cut one-quarter of an inch off the bottom of the tulip stems while under water so that no air enters the stem. This opens the stem to receive water. Do not allow the stem to dry before plunging the cut tulips into a vase or decorative container.
  3. Adjust the tulips so they fall symmetrically in the vase. Arrange the tulips to give them room to grow and twist. Remove any leaves from the stem that would be under the water once the tulip is placed into the vase.
  4. Place the vase in the coolest possible spot where you can still enjoy the tulip arrangement. If you are going to be away from the tulips for several hours move them to a dark, cool location.
  5. Tulips are big drinkers. Check the water level often and empty and refill the vase with cold water every day. Rearrange the growing tulips so they form a pleasing display. Snip the ends off the stems every other day for maximum water intake.

(Note:  Fresh cut tulips can last up to 10 days in your home if properly cared for)

Tips & Warnings

  • For the longest vase life, buy tulips while the buds are tight.
  • Do not feed tulips those little packets of cut-flower food. Pure water is all they need. Adding aspirin, lemon juice, pennies, soda and other mixtures to the water is only a myth for extending the life of cut tulips. Also, refresh water if cloudy.
  • Do not place the tulip vase in direct sunlight, near heaters or under lamps. Heat shortens the life of the blooming flowers.
  • Do not add daffodils to a vase of tulips. Combining tulips with daffodils {or any species of Narcissus} is not recommended as tulips exude a sticky sap that shortens the life span of other flowers by clogging their water uptake channels.

Tulips too unruly?

Remove the flowers from the vase, re-trim the stem tips and roll the tulips snuggly into a newspaper cone. The paper should extend above the flower tops but not cover the lower third of the stems. Place the wrapped bunch upright in a container holding cool water deep enough to submerge the exposed stems. Leave in a cool place for an hour or two to soak up the cool water in an upright position. Presto—stems will be straight again.

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Powerpuff Yourself

Tuesday 23rd of August 2016

They have $5 fresh flower fridays at my local flower shop and they always have different kinds, but @ $5 its a little surprise every week! These are great tips! My gramma always says to feed flowers sugar and lemon water to keep them looking fresh for a long time! Great tips! I'm more of a tropical flower girl but tulips scream spring to me! hotmail iniciar sesion

Michael Smith

Saturday 21st of December 2013

Absolutely phenomenal service, very friendly staff. I've been to many florists and this is by far the best I've been to so far. Once you go here there is no reason to go anywhere else online flowers Sydney


Monday 27th of February 2012

Girl, I love my some tulips as well! They are the best for brightening a dull winter day. I was so excited last weekend when I went to San Fran and saw a bunch of tulips blooming around the wharf.

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma

Friday 24th of February 2012

Tulips are my all time FAVORITE flower :)...sunflowers coming in close second. What a fun post!


Thursday 23rd of February 2012

Great tips! The one about running them under water while cutting them is a new one to me!