Creating a bouquet of cut tulips in a vase

Cut tulips in a vase

Tulips are the perfect cut flower for preparing bouquets in a vase to decorate your home.

Whether you pair it with other flowers and leaves, or focus exclusively on tulips, you’ll for sure bring beauty into the house. Here is how to make sure your tulips will keep for a long time in their vase.

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Best pick tulips that aren’t yet open

When purchasing your tulips, chose a bouquet where flowers aren’t yet open: buds must still be closed. In deed, once in the home, the tulips will unfurl their petals within a few days, and they’ll only last a short while. A bouquet of tulips usually only lasts from 5 to 8 days, depending on the temperature and exposure. If you select closed bud tulips, you’ll savor the bouquet for 1 or 2 days more.

Cut the tips of every stem before arranging them in the vase

Florists will for sure remind you of this, since it’s very important to cut the tulip stems before settling them in their vase.

  • A tall vase with a handle and a half-dozen cut tulip flowersUse sharp scissors to remove at least half an inch to one inch (1 to 2 cm).
  • This truly impacts how the tulip absorbs water from the vase, and makes it easier for the flower to sip up nutrients from the water.
  • Remove lower leaves, you shouldn’t have any leaf joints underwater in the vase.
  • If wrapped with a rubber band, cut it off before dunking the flowers in the water.
  • A better option to keep the flowers bundled together is a loosely-bound piece of raffia or string. This will hold the tulip bouquet upright, too.

Another option is to prick a needle through the stem, just beneath the flower head (remove it). This old wives’ secret creates a hole that lets air through, which in turn improves circulation of water up to the flower.

Choosing the right vase: clear or opaque?

It won’t matter in the least whether the vase is see-through or opaque. Light on the stem won’t extend or reduce the tulip’s lifespan.

Water in the vase

Tap water is fine to use for a bouquet of tulips. It’ll hold for a long time as long as its replaced often. If you’ve set up a rainwater harvester, it’s also a great choice to use rainwater.

Why to florists offer a pouch of nutrients?

Nutrients and additives often meet different goals:

  • On one hand, flowers need the nutrients to bloom nicely.
  • They’ll extend the lifespan of cut flower bouquets.
  • Tulips absorb water better.
  • Sometimes, they regulate the water’s pH levels.

Though it’s clear that this little pouch of powder serves its purpose, much more important is the habit of changing the water itself very often.

  • Change it every day, and remember to remove a quarter-inch off the stems every day (a few millimeters).

Proper location and exposure for cut tulip bouquets

Clear vase with a dozen cut tulips arranged insideAs is the case for most flowers when arranged in a bouquet, it’s best to avoid full sun, especially in the summertime.

  • Good light without being in direct sunlight is ideal.
  • Avoid spots right behind windows that get full sun, such as those facing south, even in winter.
  • Don’t set the bouquets near a radiator in winter.
  • Keep your bouquet a place that isn’t very drafty.

Smart tip

When the flowers have wilted away, toss your bouquet of spent tulips in the compost pit, or, if you haven’t any, chop them up and spread them around the foot of a plant to avail of the nutrients that are released as they break down.

Image credits (edits: Gaspard Lorthiois): Pixabay: Jens Böhm, Liudmyla Nytsyk, an anonymous photographer