How to Handle Fresh Cut Tulips


A vase of fresh tulips is both elegant and colorful, but cut tulips are noted for having minds of their own. No tulip arrangement will remain the same day after day. Allow for these changes and enjoy the varied display before you. Tulips continue to grow in water after they have been cut, lengthening at least one inch and possibly up to six inches. Tulips are heliotropic and twist to follow the sun during the day. The tulip flowers open and close with the rising and setting of the sun. Their heavy blooms also feel the pull of gravity and tend to droop down.

Things You'll Need

  • Cut tulips
  • Cold water
  • Vase that is at least one-third the height of the tulips
  • Sharp knife, pruners or secateurs

Arranging cut tulips

  • Pour cold water into the vase until it is half full.

  • Using the knife or pruners, cut one-quarter of an inch off the bottom of the tulip stems. This allows the flowers to take in as much water as possible. Plunge the cut tulips into the vase.

  • Adjust the tulips so they fall symmetrically in the vase. Arrange the tulips to give them room to grow and twist.

  • 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.

  • 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. Cut the stems shorter if the tulips grow longer than you like.

Tips & Warnings

  • For the longest display, buy or cut tulips while the buds are tight . With good care a vase of tulips will last four to seven days.
  • Do not add flower food to the tulip vase.
  • Do not place the tulip vase in full sun, near heaters or under lamps. Heat shortens the life of the blooming flowers.
  • Do not add daffodils to a vase of tulips. The daffodils emit toxins that damage other flowers.

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