Tulip tips

March 14, 2008

Tulips in vaseHaving grown up on a tulip farm and having worked both in the fields and in the flower stalls as a child, I’ve learned quite a lot from my father about tulips and how to care for them. Because we’re nearing Spring and tulips are popping up in every flower stand around town, I thought I should write down a few of my best tulip tips.

Buying tulips:

1.) Buy the freshest tulips. Don’t buy tulips that are limp; make sure the stems are thick, plump and strong. (In general, the bigger the stem–the bigger the bulb– the healthier the flower).
2.) Make sure the leaves are tight and curled inward toward the stem. If they are already bending outward, they are not very fresh.
3.) The bud should be closed and on the tighter side, but you should still be able to see the color of the flower.

How to care for them:

Cutting tulip stems1.) Cut ½ an inch from the bottom of the stem and place immediately in cold water. (Remember that the stems will continue to grow in the vase, so you can cut them down to be a bit on the shorter side).
2.) If the flowers came in plastic wrap, you can leave the plastic on for the first couple hours. This will encourage the stems to stay straight instead of bending over. (As soon as you cut the bottom of the stem, the tulip ‘comes back to life’ and will begin to respond).
3.) Leave the vase in a cool spot (not in direct sunlight). You can even place the vase outside during the night (unless it is freezing) for even longer ‘vase life’.

*Don’t ever mix daffodils and tulips in the same vase. The daffodil juice taints the water and will ‘poison’ the tulips!

And apparently all those silly things you’ve ever been told about putting a penny in the water, or adding sugar, really don’t work! Really the most important thing is to buy good, fresh flowers!

See, Dad? I really was paying attention all those years…



Comments (7)

March 14, 2008

Just brought some home, 20 beautiful yellow tulips with a pointy tip. Gorgeous, my favorite flower!

March 14, 2008

As a Dutch girl, my favourite flower cannot be anything else than a tulip… Thanks for these tips, Court!

March 14, 2008

I can’t even imagine growing up on a tulip farm! How beautiful!!!
I just saw concrete and tall buildings.

And btw…does your Dad read babyccino??

March 18, 2008

What great advice! I don’t know if you know this one but I was told to prick the stem with a pin just at the base of the flower – apparently this encourages the flowers to move away from one another creating a gorgeous arrangement. We had banks of tulips at our engagement party which were stunning – and the poor florist had pricked each flower!

William M. Roozen
March 25, 2008

Hello all. Courtney, I love all your comments and I’m especially happy you paid attention to the Tulip Farmer!! We are very busy at this time of year but I always take the time to check up on your life. You Are me F.O.D. Lots of LOVE from G-Papa

terri williamson
May 29, 2008

I am ready to plant my summer flowers and was wondering if it is ok to cut back the tulip stems, or do I need them to turn brown and lay down. They are still quite healthy and green and standing straight up. Please give me any helpful tips on tulips. This was my first year and they were beautiful. Is it the same for dafoddils?

Rebecca Carney
February 5, 2009

My daughter-in-law’s favorite flowers are tulips. I am having a baby shower for her and having tulips as centerpieces. Do you know of a saying about tulips and babies? Thank you.

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