5 Things Fresh Tulips Need to Look Good and Last Longer

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Samara Vise)

It’s March, which means tulips are popping up in stores everywhere. Take advantage of the tulip season, and learn the dos and don’ts for making them last longer and look their best.

#1: Water is Life

Plentiful clean water is pretty important to these pretty little flowers. When you’re first arranging them in their vase, re-cut each one so water has the best chance to travel up the stems. Make sure the vase is always filled with enough liquid to cover the bottoms of the flowers, and bonus points if you actually swap it out fresh each day.

#2. Avoid Light and Heat

Tulips are photo-sensitive, and will respond to light by opening up and therefore wilting faster. To keep them around as long as possible, buy them early (while the blooms are still closed), then keep them away from heat and sun as much as possible.

#3: Keep Them Cool

Like most cut flowers, tulips like to stay cool, and will last a lot longer if you stick them in the fridge overnight, then take them out each morning to enjoy. You can also throw an ice cube in the vase water to keep them chilled.

(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

#3. Beware the Narcissus

Be careful when combining tulips with other popular spring flowers, such as daffodils and jonquils, which secrete a sap that shortens the life of their vase mates. Keep these guys separate overnight, after they are cut, so the sap makes its way out of the stems, before combining with the tulips.

#4: The Right Vase

Here’s something mind-blowing: Tulips keep growing after they’re cut and placed in water — up to two inches — so that tight bouquet you carefully arranged won’t look so compact after the first day. Make sure your chosen vase is tall enough to handle some droopy stems. Another tip: You can either let them do their thing and dance around as they please, or you cut the stems a little shorter after you buy them, so they “grow into” their vase.

Any other tips you learned about tulips you want to share?