How to keep cut tulips longer at home


Spring colorful tulips are a decoration for any celebration.

But often these fragile flowers do not even wait for the celebration when they are brought home and begin to fade right in front of your eyes. And in a vase they usually do not live long, dropping the heads and losing petals.

So how to prolong the life of cut tulips at home as long as possible? Let’s find out together.

How to cut tulips properly

If you usually buy flowers in a store, you can skip this point. This information is more for gardeners who grow tulips on their own plot and can affect their further preservation even at the stage of cutting flowers.

Yes, yes, the fact is that even with this procedure you need to follow some rules if you want to enjoy your cut flowers in the apartment longer. So how and when do you cut the tulips correctly?

First of all, decide what the future fate of flowers in the bed, intended for cutting. If you cherish these varieties of bulbs, and you intend to keep them healthy and get beautiful flowers out of the next season, then take into account the length of the flower stalks and the number of remaining leaves. You should leave at least two leaves on the stem so that the bulb remaining in the ground gets enough nutrition for further growth.

Of course, in this case, it is better to grow tulips with long flower stems – so that both the bouquet looks presentable and the remaining bulb is not damaged. These are Darwin hybrids, lily-of-the-valley tulips, Triumph-tulips, Rembrandt-tulips, late ordinary tulips, and fringed tulips based on them, all of which, by the way, is perfect for cutting. But, for example, the class of simple early tulips is not suitable for cutting.

If you are not worried about the safety of the bulbs, the tulips can not be cut but dug out of the ground right along with them. What to do with them afterward – we’ll tell you below.

Secondly, approach the cutting of tulips wisely. To keep them in the cut for as long as possible, the tulips need to be cut when the buds are closed but already colored – do not worry, they will stretch and bloom perfectly in a vase with water later on, and they will significantly increase in size. To prevent this from happening back in the bed, the cutting should be done early in the morning, when the buds are tightly closed and the stems are still flexible and haven’t lost their juiciness. This is especially true for sunny, hot days. If the weather is overcast and cool, cutting can be done at other times of the day. Rainy, damp weather makes cutting extremely undesirable.

Of course, if you want the flowers in a vase for a long time to live, inspect the selected plants even before cutting – their buds, stems, and leaves should be strong, uniformly colored, without decay, spots and damage.

Rules for choosing tulips in a store

If you buy flowers as a presentation in a store, you have to determine the freshness of the tulips yourself when buying them. How to do it?

As a minimum you have to ask the seller when they were on sale and how long the plants were on the counter (of course, the less, the better). It is desirable to estimate yourself, where the flowers are taken from – they should be kept in a darkened, cold room. Then carefully examine the tulips one by one – if the flowers are tightly wrapped in cellophane, and even more so in a non-transparent paper, make sure you ask the seller to open the package and show you all the flowers. They should be the same as if they were cut from the bed by themselves, with a firm upright stem, evenly green leaves, and tightly closed colored buds, without any damage. If the buds are tight with a rubber band, the seller is most likely worried about their freshness, and such flowers will almost immediately “fall apart” when the clamp is removed.

Using floral tricks it is easier to camouflage the lack of freshness of flowers in a bright compound bouquet with an abundance of artificial decorations such as colored skewers, sequins, decorative wire, wrapping multifaceted paper, etc. – be careful!

Method for storing cut tulips without water

So, the cut flowers in the country house or store-bought tulips are brought home, but the celebration is still a few days away. What to do with flowers in this case, so they do not lose their appearance until the right time, how to save them? Send them for storage! And this can even be done in several ways.

The first way is to dry-store cut tulips. Strange as it may seem, these flowers are quite capable of staying alive for a while without water, you just need to give them the right conditions for it.

How exactly do you store tulips without water:

  • From cut flowers, remove the bottom large and particularly rotted leaves.
  • Cut the stems off around the edge with a sharp pair of pruning shears.

Stack a few tulips (5-15) neatly and densely on top of each other with the heads pointing in one direction and wrap them in damp paper or cloth (but not PE!). Keep in mind that even in this state the slow growth of the flowers continues, so do not wrap the wrapping too tightly – the tulips will need some space. Another option is to put the tulips in a sealed box soaked in paraffin to reduce moisture evaporation.
Place the formed packages in this way in a dark, cold place with at least 97% humidity. This can be a cellar, a basement, but the best place is a refrigerator. There you will be able to regulate the temperature, which should be from -1 to 3 ° C (the lower it is in this range, the longer the storage period can be). It is very desirable to remove products (especially fruits, greens, and vegetables that release ethylene during ripening, which can provoke the blossoming of flowers) from the fridge so that they don’t interfere with the storage of tulips.
It is not always possible to observe all these nuances at home, but on an industrial scale and for transportation this method is used. If all the conditions are maintained, the fresh-cut tulips can be stored like this for up to 10-14 days with no loss of ornamental quality!

When it is time to take the tulips out of storage, allow time for them to adjust to room temperature by keeping the wrapping on and putting them in a bowl of cold water. Then (after about half an hour) unpack the flowers, again with a sharp knife, renew the cuts obliquely (to maximize the area of moisture entering the stems), form a bouquet, and place in the vase of your choice.

How to keep cut tulips in a vase

But here are the tulips already presented and sent in a vase in the most prominent place. How to preserve their decorative appearance for longer now? And there are some secrets here, too.

Know that the warmer and brighter the room, the less your tulips will last – all their vital processes will go faster, and that means not only stem growth and bud blossoming but also withering. Ideally, these flowers will fit in a room with no more than 5°C and no direct sunlight or constant artificial light. Of course, this is hardly achievable, but even without these extremes, you can try to prolong the life of cut tulips for up to 5-7 days.

So, the tulips with the stems cut obliquely (some people recommend making cuts on the stem additionally) are put in a vase with cool tap water so that the water in no way touches even the lower part of the leaves – yes, the water should be only 5-7 cm deep.

One of the folk methods to preserve the life of cut tulips is to keep them not in ordinary water, but in mineral water. But for some reason, none of the advisors specify what kind of water it should be.

The vase should be placed in a place without direct sunlight and especially draughts, which tulips are very afraid of. An excessively dry place, for example, near a heating device will not suit either.

The following additives are used to nourish the flowers in the vase:

Special floral preparations (Bouton, Flora, Crizal, etc.);
sugar solution (10-20 g per 1 liter of water).

To disinfect the water, add something from this list:

  • a piece of charcoal (charcoal or activated charcoal);
  • a tablet of aspirin;
  • Diluted vinegar (1 tbsp. per 1 liter of water);
  • a weak solution of manganese solution;
  • A solution of citric acid (0.5-0.8 g per 1 liter of water).

But even in this case, the water will have to be changed daily, not forgetting to wash the inside of the vase and renew the cut on the stem.

Tulips do not really like the neighborhood with other flowers in a bouquet. Especially they do not like to be in the same vase with roses, lilies, narcissus, carnations, poppies, orchids, and lily of the valley. A sprig of thuja or cypress, on the other hand, will support tulips and even make their colors more intense.

Also make sure that there are no wilted flowers or containers with ripe fruit in the room with the tulips, because of the ethylene mentioned above.

And a great original variant is to put flowers in a vase… right with the bulbs! That’s right, you heard right. Remember, above we mentioned that tulips can not only be cut from the bed but also dug up. After that, the bulbs are carefully shaken off the ground and washed with cold water. Such “whole” plants can be placed in a basket, covering and strengthening the bulbs with special moistened turf or moss. Or you can – put it directly in a clear vase with water. So you’ll keep the plants much longer cut, and you can build a stylish design composition in your apartment yourself.

We hope that our tips will help you to keep these beautiful and tender spring flowers in a bouquet as long as possible – because you do not need much effort for this, you should only follow a few simple rules.

About the Author: Amanda Johnson

Thank you for visiting our site today! We are very grateful for loyal readers like you and it is why we enjoy posting content each and every day. Please keep checking back for more fun and exciting articles. Thank you again for being a loyal reader and we hope to see you again!