All about making cut Tulips last longer

35 Amazing Tips For Cut Tulips to Last Longer

In our blogpost here, we are going to share with you, 35 amazing and helpful tips to care for your cut tulips, to last longer in your vase.

Nothing says, it is spring time like Tulips, the most coveted Dutch flowers!

Caring for cut tulips
35 Amazing Tips to make your cut Tulips last longer

Tulips brings a splash of colorful elegance, to whichever space they occupy.

Be it in a garden or in a vase, their colorful happy energy turns cold, dark winter days into brighter, cheerful ones.

All about Tulips
Tulips from your garden

Come spring, you start seeing more of them in wedding and flower arrangements .

Spring Weddings & Tulips
Tulips adorning Spring Wedding Bouquets

If you are anyone like me, you already are dreaming of bringing these fresh colorful bouquet of tulips home. They look fabulous as an early spring vignette, when you set them up on your coffee table..

Needles to say, I have never met a tulip I did not like.

Springtime begins with Tulips.

Yet, when you bring them home each time, do you worry that they have a short vase life?

How then do you make these cut tulips last , so you may bask in their beauty a little longer?

Rest easy!

We promise, by the end of this post you will be enlightened with all the knowledge you need, to care for your fresh cut tulips.

Our hope with this blogpost is that with the knowledge you gain by going through these 35 amazing tips to care for cut tulips to last longer, you will continue to add color to your indoors with these lovely blooms, all through the season.

List of 35 amazing tips to care for cut tulips to last longer

Let’s look at the 35 amazing tips to care for your cut tulips to make them last longer one by one in the following passages.

It is also important for you to understand, some true facts regarding these lovely blooms as we go through each and every tip below.

Nurturing the right way and showing TLC (tender loving care) will definitely make your blooms last longer this season. Let’s see how….

What are “forced blooms”?

Fact : Do you ever wonder, how you find tulips in the store this early in the season when everything seems so bleak outdoors?

Well, FYI the cut tulips you find at your florist shop/ local greenhouse/supermarkets, this time of year are “forced blooms”.

Forced blooms?
What are forced blooms?

They are flowers that were grown in greenhouses in the United States or in places as far away as the Netherlands. Growers manipulate the biological clock of these blooms, using special temperature treatments to produce blooms for sale in the winter months.

This is similar to the method we use at home by potting tulip bulbs in fall when temps are around 30-40 for 10- 12 weeks before bringing them back into warmth.In some cases planting the bulbs outdoors before the first frost.

Fresh cut tulips could be the one’s you picked from your garden or the ones you picked up from your florist.

Tip #1 : If you plan to grow them outdoors, plant the tulip bulbs in fall, before the ground freezes. (Reason why, tulip bulbs are on sale in the Fall season).Tulip blooms are available for sale starting in early Spring to mid summer.

How long do fresh cut tulips last?

When cut tulips are properly cared for they will stay fresh in a vase of water for seven to ten days

Giving them some TLC (tender loving care) during this time will make them last for up to two weeks.

How much do Fresh cut tulips cost?

A dozen tulips at our local florists cost anywhere between $6 to $8.

Considering the beauty & joy they bring to you & your space, you want your cut tulips to last longer right?

How to choose tulips ?

Tip #2 :If you are bringing home tulips from your garden, cut the tulips at an advanced bud stage, when the blooms are still closed but the color of the flower is evident.

Tip #3 :If you are buying tulips at the store, then look for unopened buds still green and just showing some color. They need to be tightly closed when you bring them home. Slightly open or open tulips don’t last long, their petals wither faster.

Cut Tulips...what do you need to know?
What to look for in store bought tulips?

Tip #4 :Wrap the stems in wet paper towels or newspaper while you get your vase ready.This provides them with a supportive collar to help prevent drying of tulips.Placing the stems in a sink of water, helps too, to keep them hydrated before transferring them to the vase.

How do you cut tulips stem?

Tip #5 :Cut each tulip stem, while they are still submerged in water.This blocks the air entering the stems which block the water vessels.

Cut the stem about one-half inch from the bottom, at an 45 degree angle with a sharp knife or floral snips. This creates a straw effect, helping the flowers drink up the fresh water easily.This also aids in the blooming of tulips.

Can we place tulips in the refrigerator?

Dry Storage

Fact :Tulips are picked once the buds form and start to take on color, but before they are fully open or developed. After picking or harvesting tulips from the garden or field, they can be stored out of water for up to a week.

Tip #6 :Store dry tulips that are still tightly closed between 32 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit. A refrigerator works well for dry storage. Dry storage is a way to preserve the flowers, but not a necessary step to prolong their bloom time.


When removing tulips from a dry storage situation, the flowers need to be re-hydrated carefully.

Fill up a glass jar or vase with 100 – 110 degree Fahrenheit water to which two drops of bleach has been added to avoid bacterial growth.

Tip #7 :Cut the bottom 1 1/2 inch off the stalks and wrap a piece of stiff plastic around the base of the stems. Leave the plastic 1 inch longer than the stems and secure it with a rubber band. Place the tulips in the water.

The plastic will suspend the stalks so that they are not touching the bottom of the jar while they rehydrate. Allow tulips to rehydrate for two hours.

Wet Storage

After re-hydrating tulips from dry storage and placing them in water, keep them in a cooler or refrigerator at 35 F.

Tip #8 :To increase cut tulip’s ability to absorb water, cut off the bottom one-half inch of stem before putting them in the water. As with dry storage, tulips can be kept up to a week in wet storage before being put out in vases or sold.

If you want your tulips to last longer and when you are having company over, it helps to keep your tulips in the garage refrigerator ( at 35 degrees).

This works best coz this is the place where we usually only store beverages and not our fruits & veggies. Fruits & veggies give off ethylene gases which make flowers wilt faster if placed in the same environment.

Tip #9 :For the same reason avoid placing fresh cut flowers next to a fruit basket!

Tulip care
What happens when tulips are placed next to your fruit bowl?

How to choose a vase to display your tulips?

Tip #10 :When choosing a vase for displaying your tulips, select one that is tall. Go with a vase that is at least half as tall as the flower stems.If you are putting tulips in a big container like a vase/urn put the tulips in a container and then place it in a larger vase/urn.

When arranging the cut tulips in a vase, the general rule of the thumb is that the bouquet should be about one and one-half times the height of the vase.

Tulips work well in tall, straight vases, although they can be arranged in a fan shape in a low, wide bowl.

Tulips in a tall vase
Tulips beautifying your home

I love the look of tulip stems in a clear glass container.

Tulips arrangement in a vase
Tulips arrangement in a vase

Tip #11 :For stem support, you might need to anchor using a florist’s frog or a florist foam to keep the flowers in place. These help to support the flower arrangement by holding the flowers in place.

Tip #12 :Some choices in vase selection for tulips include:

Can I mix other flowers with tulips in an arrangement?

Tip #13 :Tulips work best in a vase all by themselves.

Fact :Tulips belong to the Liliaceae family. Do not style tulips with flowers in the Narcissus family. 

Daffodils and other flowers in the Narcissus family exude a sap that clogs the water uptake of other flowers hence causing tulips to fade faster.

How do you make tulips last longer?

Tip #14 : To make cut tulips last longer, keep them well hydrated.

There are differing opinions about the water level requirement in the vase.

Some suggest shallow water makes tulips last longer, while others believe topping off the vase with water.Keeping them hydrated is the essential requirement here.

Tip #15 :Using lukewarm water or water at room temperature for filling the vase seems to work better with tulips than ice cold water.

Tip #16 :Removing any leaves or foliage below the waterline helps the flowers last longer.

What do you put in the water for cut tulips?

To energy infuse the tulips and make them have a longer vase life, different methods of nourishment have been applied . Some of the tried and tested methods are listed below :

Why does sugar help cut flowers live longer?

Fact :While still attached to a plant, the flower benefits from the sugars that the plant’s leaves manufacture, through the process of photosynthesis.

Once the flower is cut from the plant, the number of leaves providing food is greatly limited.As a result, the amount of food available to the flower is drastically reduced.

Tip #17 :To make up for this loss, sucrose/sugar is added to the water where the flower stems are placed, to prolong their longevity and provide continuous nourishment.

Does ACV help preserve tulips ?

Some vouch for ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) being able to preserve the flower fresher for a little longer in the vase.

Tip #18 :The trick is to add 2 teaspoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the water before putting the tulips in the vase. The sugar nourishes the plants, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.This also helps the tulips stay more upright.

Why does bleach make cut flowers last longer?

Keeping the vase clean before filling it with water for the flowers is important. Some even recommend cleaning the insides of the vase with bleach to prevent bacterial growth.

Tip #19 :Adding 1/4 teaspoon bleach per quart (1 liter) of vase water or 2 drops of liquid bleach keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.

How does Vodka help in caring for cut flowers?

Fact :The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good as long as possible is to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flower would have gotten had it not been cut.

Tip #20 : Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.

Does Aspirin help keep cut flowers fresh?

Tip #21 : Mix 1 crushed aspirin into your vase of fresh flowers. Aspirin is said to lower the pH level of the water allowing it to travel through the flower faster, preventing wilting.

How does Soda help in making the blooms last longer?

Tip #22 :The sugar in soda is said to make your blooms last longer and smell sweeter. The spirit’s ability to inhibit ethylene production, a ripening gas that helps plants mature, slows the wilting of the flowers.

Do dropping pennies in the vase, keep tulips straight?

Tip #23 :It’s often said that dropping a penny made prior to 1981 will help keep the stems upright due to the high copper content in the water.Copper is believed to prevent bacterial growth thus preserving the freshness of the flower.

How do flower preservatives help your cut flowers?

Tip#24 :Flower preservatives  are designed to dissolve quickly and easily in vase water.They act as both plant food and bacterial inhibitors.

By making the water less pleasant for bacteria, these floral preservatives helps keep bacterial growth to a minimum thus helping cut flowers last longer and aiding in their nourishment.

How do you take care of cut tulips in a vase?

Tip #25 : Fill the vase 3/4th with water and nourish the flowers ( in any of the above mentioned ways )

Tip #26 : Place the vase containing tulips away from direct sunlight, in a cooler location of the room having diffused light. This way they tend to last longer.

Tip #27 :Place your arrangements in an area of your home that is free of drafts and not beside heaters, air conditioners, windows or stoves. Simple and easy, right?

Tip #28 :Tulip water tends to get slimy and bacteria filled quickly, so changing the water completely every other day is advised , if not using any nourishing methods mentioned earlier.Changing the water will help keep them healthy and extend their lives.

Do tulips keep growing once cut?

Interesting Fact :Tulips continue to grow after being cut, up to an inch or more.They are “phototropic”, and bend towards the light.

Avoid placing in direct sunlight or near heat. Tulips will grow toward sunlight and may bend a little when doing so. They are okay in indirect sunlight.

Tip #29 : Rotate containers daily to keep stems more upright.

Why do tulips droop in a vase?

Tulip care
What do you do when cut tulips begin to droop?

With a pliable stem and heavy blooms, tulips are prone to drooping .Do not be spooked if you see your straight upright tulips that you arranged yesterday, drooping all over the place today.

Rest assured, there is no mischief involved nor are your flowers wilting.

There are reasons why tulips bob and weave in the vase.

Did you know that unlike other flowers, tulips continue to grow even after being cut? So, if you see them drooping the next day, “They are just doing what tulips do best – dance in the vase” says Caras a well known horticulturist.

Fact :Tulips are top heavy, light stem flowers, hence drooping is inevitable.Cut tulips are notorious for drooping when placed in a vase.

Tip #30 : Keep tulips well hydrated (this prevents air from entering into their veins which hastens drooping) and providing them with essential nutrients, will help reduce drooping to some extent.

How do you keep tulips from drooping with a pin?

Tip #31 :You can perk up tulips by pricking them with a pin.Start with a couple of inches below the flower to begin with.Then as the days go by, prick higher.

This will help release air, that is trapped in the stem, eventually preventing drooping by allowing water to be absorbed easily.

How do you keep tulips from drooping with a candle wax trick ?

Tip #32 :Holding the stem, turn the tulip upside down and drip candle wax where the stem and petals join together.This will prevent tulips from drooping.The disadvantage of this technique is that the tulips will stay closed and not open.

This tip works best in wedding bouquet arrangements.

How do you perk up tulips?

Tip #33:One of it’s most alluring charms is the sweeping bow of the tulips, yet when it comes to flower arrangement that can present a challenge.

The best way to first straighten the curved stems of tulips is by rolling the entire bunch of flowers inside a newspaper or wet kitchen towel and plunging it into cool water.This will prevent tulips from drooping.

Tip #34 :To prevent tulips from drooping pack them tightly in an arrangement or give them enough room to move gracefully in a bigger vase.

How many different varieties of tulips are there?

Tulips, are one of the most popular cut flowers in the world. The Royal Horticultural Association of Holland has recognized over 3,000 different cultivated tulip varieties, based on the flower type, size and blooming period of the tulip.

Some of the more popular types of tulips include:

  • Single tulips
  • Double tulips
  • Parrot tulips
  • Darwin Hybrid tulips
  • Triumph tulips

Tip #35 : The Parrot Tulips are a big hit among the indoor flower arrangement tulip varieties.

What do the different colors in tulips symbolize?

Tulips come in pretty much every color under the sun, with colors ranging from deep maroon to white-and-green striped. Each color tulip symbolizes something different. The most common interpretations are:

  • Red = Love
  • White = Purity, forgiveness and respect
  • Purple = Royalty
  • Blue = Tranquility and Peace
  • Yellow = Good cheer!

I hope today’s post containing the 35 amazing tips to care for cut tulips to last longer will come handy and be useful to you, while caring for you fresh cut tulips this season.

Caring for cut tulips
Did you try, any of our tips today?

The Bottom Line

Which of the tips above are you going to try?

Is it pricking the tulip stem with a pin to prevent drooping ?

Or maybe you want to try the trick of straightening the stems with a supportive collar of wet paper towel, for a few hours, before you place them in the vase?

What are some of the tricks you have in your pocket for keeping cut flowers fresh and standing tall?

Let us know by leaving a comment below right now !

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Danielle Ardizzone
3 years ago

Great tips! There’s a tulip farm we’ve visited a few times, but I was sad that the flowers didn’t last long. I’ll keep these in mind next time.

Cindy Moore
Cindy Moore
3 years ago

Excellent tips! I do love fresh cut tulips in the spring.

3 years ago

Great advice!

3 years ago

Tulips are my favourite! My Hubby buys me a small bunch every week while they are in season. Mine are currently drooping pretty low, so I will try out some of the suggestions!

3 years ago

Tulips are my favorite! We used to go to the Tulip Festival in Seattle area every year when we lived there and I always tried to choose tulips that were tight so they would last longer. I will try these tips next time!

Sabrina DeWalt
3 years ago

I love tulips, especially because they are one of the first bright pops of color after a long, cold winter.

3 years ago

Great post! I love tulips burning warmer areas we don’t get them much. I never see them in the ground and this time of year I’ll see some on the florist shops. But I love them! And always want them to last longer. Thanks for tht tips!

Larissa Li
Larissa Li
3 years ago

OMG! You gotta be loving flowers very much to know all these tips. Thank you for sharing your passion!

3 years ago

I love tulips!!! Just haven’t started growing them because everyone here has them lol

3 years ago

I never realized there were potential problems when mixing tulips and daffodils in a vase. Thanks for passing this on!

Allison Peteet
3 years ago

I love tulips. I pinned this post for future reference. Thanks for the info.

3 years ago

Wow, I learned a ton of great info! We have tulips in our yard but they always get devoured by the dear! This year we sprayed them and it has kept the deer away!

3 years ago

I love tulips every Spring. Wish I had more success at growing them!

3 years ago

I’ve never heard of adding any of those extras to the water! Thank you 🙂

Alexis Farmer
3 years ago

I love tulips! Thanks for the awesome tips.

Tricia Snow
Tricia Snow
3 years ago

Great tips! I never buy them because they drop so quickly. I will try again!

Holly B
3 years ago

I love tulips and appreciate the tips and advice to keeping them fresh and beautiful linger! Thank you for sharing your insight!

3 years ago

My only complaint about flowers is that they never last long enough! I’ll have to try some of these tips to keep the colors fresh 🙂

3 years ago

Great tips, and it’s the perfect time of year to get them! I loved the distinction of what to look for when buying fresh tulips from the store vs. cutting them yourself from the garden. Thank you for all the information!

Annette Durbin
4 years ago

I love fresh, cut flowers!! Such a great way to brighten up the home or office. Thanks for sharing these tips.