How long do tulips last? This is a question many a tulip lover has asked while surveying a fresh-cut bundle of the delicate looking blooms.
Have you ever received a cheery bundle of fresh tulips and thought, these are gorgeous, but how long can I keep them that way? The short answer is that cut tulips can last up to ten days; you just have to know how to care for them properly. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping cut tulips looking fresh and perky for as long as possible.
Tulip Basic Care
It’s always a good idea to start with the basics. If you do nothing else to care for your fresh cut tulips, follow these steps:
- Begin with a very clean vase
- Fill the vase ⅓ full with room temperature water
- Add either packaged or homemade flower food
- Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle
- Carefully remove any leaves that will sit under the water
- Repeat the above steps daily
When To Buy
Whether you’re buying tulips for yourself or someone else, look for buds that are just about to open up. You’ll know that they’re just right if the flowers are still closed, but it’s easy to see what color they’re going to be when they open.
The vase you choose may seem inconsequential, but because tulips tend to droop you’ll want to select a supportive vessel. Try to select a container that’s tall and doesn’t curve outwards. This way your tulips will be supported and won’t fall over the sides of the container. Of course, some people prefer the look of tulips draping elegantly over the edge of a bowl. In this case, feel free to use a wider vessel.
Choose Vase-Mates Wisely
If you think that your tulips would look extra cheerful alongside some vivacious daffodils, think again. Those sweet, innocent looking daffodils have a bit a bit of a dark side. They come from the narcissus family of plants, which let off a slimy sap that will block the tulip stems from drinking up the water they need to stay lively.
If you research ‘how long do tulips last in a vase’ you’ll likely come across information about keeping them out of the sun and away from heat. Tulips will naturally bend towards the sunlight. Even when placed in indirect sunlight, you may need to turn the vase from time to time to keep your flowers upright. Keeping them away from heating vents and drafty areas is also a good idea.
Help Them Out
If your tulips don’t seem to be sucking up their fresh water, even with the regular stem trimming, you may need to give them a hand. Try inserting a pin through the stem just under the head. The hole allows air to escape, which should help your flowers drink up the water.
You may have heard this general tip about cut flowers, but if you research specifically ‘how long do tulips last’ you might miss this important bit of information. Keeping cut flowers away from fresh fruit is essential to extending the life of your blooms, and it’s especially crucial with tulips. Fruit that’s ripening lets off ethylene gas, which will break down your flowers faster. Tulips are particularly vulnerable to the gas.
Old Wives Tale?
There is much debate over this trick, so take it with a grain of salt. Some tulip enthusiasts insist that adding a penny (1981 or earlier) to the vase of water will keep your flowers perkier. Supposedly it’s the copper that’s released from the penny that keeps the blooms upright. It may be worth a try.
Having tulips around is a lovely reminder that spring has arrived, but the blooms just seem so delicate. If you love them and are still questioning how long do tulips last in a vase, you can find plenty of tricks online. The best thing to do though is to start with the very freshest tulips.