It’s tulip season! (Wahoo!) At least it is in the flower shops.
While not my favourite flower, they are certainly in the running because they bring to mind Spring and sunshine and bring colour back into my oh-so-white, winter world.
I hesitate to buy tulips however because their lifespan seems so fleeting, and who wants to waste money on something that will only make you smile for a day?
I spoke with my florist (thank you Kim!), and did some research online and came up with some tips for
Prolonging the life of tulips:
- Buy tulips while the flowers are still closed. You should be able to see the colour of the blooms, but the flower itself should be pretty tightly closed if you want your flowers to last.
- Did you know that tulips continue to grow when in water? Yup, even in a vase they can grow up to 6″ taller than when you purchased them – about an inch per day. For this reason, it is important to put your tulips in a tall, straight vase that is at least ½ the height of your stems. (note: my vase is not straight and some of my stems are tilted, so these will probably droop – this is a “do as I say and not as I do” sort of post ;) )
- Make sure your vase is clean before putting your flowers in. Any residue from past bouquets could contain bacteria that will quickly grow and shorten the life of your tulips.
- Use COLD, FRESH water and change your water completely every day or two. Fill your vase about 1/3 the way full. Adding pennies, Sprite, sugar or anything except flower food to the water will not help in prolonging the life of tulips. I researched a dozen+ experts and everyone agreed that these are myths – the best thing you can do to extend the life of tulips is refresh the water regularly and add a proper flower food.
- Remove any leaves that fall below the water line. Leaves below the water line give bacteria more surface area to ‘stick’ to and grow, and the leaves themselves will rot quickly.
- Trim your stems ¼” to ½” at an angle before putting into the water. Use a sharp knife or scissors that are clean.
- There was a split consensus on “burping your stems”. Some believed that piercing your tulip just below the head removed air from the stem, created a ‘callous’, and helped them to stand upright. Others said that piercing the stem allowed for bacteria to enter which could kill your flower more quickly. No scientific evidence (that I could find) was given to support either side of the argument for prolonging the life of tulips
- Keep your tulips cool and out of direct sunlight. Tulips are Spring flowers and thrive best in cooler temperatures. Giving your blooms too much sun will both warm them, and cause the heads to turn towards the sun, which can encourage drooping.
- If you don’t like your tulips to droop, continue trimming the bottom of the stem each time you refresh the water. As the heads open, they become heavier and gravity is what causes your blooms to fall. If your tulips are in a tall, straight vase and aren’t hanging at angles over the edge, they should stay tall and strong if you keep them at the same height you purchased them at. This means trimming the stems occasionally to cut back the extra height growth that occurs each day.
- Don’t put tulips and daffodils in the same vase. Flowers in the narcissus family lose sap when they are cut which contaminates the water and causes tulips to fade quickly. If you have your heart set on a Spring bouquet, set your daffodils in a separate vase for 4-6 hours to drain some of the sap before adding them to your tulip vase.
In these cold, dreary months bringing a little sunshine into your home can breathe life back into your decor and tulips are an inexpensive and gorgeous option. Implementing these tips for prolonging the life of tulips will allow you to enjoy their vibrancy for days (maybe even a week+) longer – and come on, we deserve it right?!
For your Pinterest board:
Have a great one!