How to Care for Cut Tulips

How to Care for Cut Tulips

With striking colors and an elegant look, it’s no secret why tulips are many people’s favorite flowers. Unfortunately, these unique blooms are as finicky as they are beautiful. They have a tendency to droop. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to keep your cut tulips looking their best! Here are a few ways to help your tulips stay fresh for longer.

Trim The Stems

When you bring your tulips home, lay each stem on the kitchen table. Then, remove any damaged leaves and make sure the end of each stem is lined up with the others. Bind them together with an elastic band and cut at least 2cm from the base of the stems. (Cut them a little shorter than you think. This way, they’ll stay tidy as they grow.)

Rehydrate Before Arranging

If you’ve acquired your tulips in a bouquet, they may have been out of water for several hours and may be a little droopy already. 

Plunge your bundle of tulips into a deep bucket of lukewarm water with only the heads above the water. Leave them in the water overnight or at least for a few hours. As water travels up the tulip’s stems, they’ll become rigid and return to their original shape.

Choose the Right Vase

When choosing the best vase for any flower arrangement, aesthetics aren’t the only factor to consider. Tulips need support, so they prefer vases at least half the height of their stems. Remember, they’ll continue to grow in the vase, so factor this in. A vase with a slightly tapered neck helps to support the stems, especially as they twist and turn over time.

Be careful not overfill your vase; your tulips shouldn’t be crowded in the vase. Make sure the stems and leaves have enough room so they aren’t getting crushed.

Add a Penny

Before you place your tulips in their vase, add the water and drop in a copper penny. Allow the penny to sit in the water for 30 minutes.

Then, place your trimmed tulips into the vase. This will help the stems stay firm, preventing drooping.

If they’ve already begun to droop, remove the flowers from the vase, change the water, and complete the steps above. You’ll notice they’ll perk right back up.

Keep Away from Light & Rotate Often

Tulips continue to grow even after they’ve been cut from their bulb. They will move in the vase and grow toward the light. Tulips will never look formulaic or “perfect”—that’s part of their charm, but if you want to ensure your tulips grow evenly and straight, rotate their vase daily. 

You can also store tulips in the dark overnight to help keep them upright. When doing so, take them out of their vase, tightly wrap the stems with newspaper, then place them back into the vase for the night.

Change Water Frequently

Tulips enjoy a lot of fresh water. After placing the stems in the vase for the first time, fill the water to two-thirds. Use slightly tepid water rather than cold to hydrate the tulips faster. 

Change the tulips’ water every other day, if not more often. 

It’s Worth It!

Tulips can be quite particular, but they’re not at all impossible to care for. Choose a vase that supports the stems, keep your tulips well hydrated, and rotate them every few days. If you follow these steps, we’re confident you’ll have bright and healthy tulips to enjoy!