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How to make your tulips last longer

how to stop tulips drooping
How to stop tulips from droopingIsabel Pavia - Getty Images

Tulips are synonymous with the spring season and as one of the easiest flowers to care for, these cheerful blooms come in pretty much every colour imaginable. In a garden, tulip bulbs provide fabulous colour in borders and containers, and as a cut flower, nothing uplifts a space like tulips in a vase.

The colour of a tulip flower is almost as varied as the shape it produces. When it comes to these famous Dutch flowers you can find tulips with a single or double row of petals, ones with an eye-catching fringe, parrot tulips with serrated petals, or even lily-flowered tulips, peony tulips and French tulips. The options really are endless.

Cut flower tulips

Cut flower tulips typically last between five to 12 days, but they're heavy drinkers, so it's really important to top the vase up with water regularly. Bloom & Wild's lead florist, Caroline, outlines exactly how you can make your tulips last longer, as well as flower care solutions for common dilemmas.

How to avoid drooping tulips

Follow these simple steps...

1. Trim your tulips

Trimming tulips by 3-5cm allows water inside to hydrate them. Always cut at a 45-degree angle to give as much surface area to drink from.

2. Pop them in water ASAP

Tulips, like all flowers, use water to prop up their stems. Pop them in water as soon as you can to help them rehydrate and bloom.

3. Find their dream home

Keep your tulips away from direct sunlight and radiators (they'll dehydrate your stems) and fruit (it releases gases that'll make them fade).

4. Change their water

Tulips don't like drinking dirty water, so refresh your vase every few days and re-trim your stems by 1cm each time.

Why are my tulips floppy?

Don't worry, they aren't dead. Tulips use water to prop up their stems so they're just thirsty after their journey to you. Help yours perk up by trimming them, popping them in water and then leaving them overnight. By the morning your tulips will no longer look droopy.

Why are my tulips so much shorter than my other stems?

They're naturally much shorter than other stems but they'll keep growing in your vase. Data Scientist Dave carried out a tulip experiment to prove it: He measured some tulips on the day they arrived and they were 31cm on average. Then he popped them in fresh water with flower food and waited a few days. On day five, he took them out of the water and measured them all, one by one. On average they'd grown by a huge 17cm!

how to stop tulips drooping
Andrew Coulter / EyeEm - Getty Images

So why do tulips keep growing in water?

Tulips are really responsive to sunlight and that's why they move. They're turning themselves towards the light sources around them, hoping to be seen by pollinators. You might also spot them opening up on sunny days and closing up at night time.

Why don’t my tulips stay straight?

Because they keep growing in their vase, you'll find they playfully move around in the water. It's part of their charm and nothing to worry about.

But I want my tulips to be straight, what can I do?

If you want your tulips to stand up straight for a dinner party or special occasion, we recommend taking them out of their vase, tightly wrapping them with newspaper into a cone shape, popping them back in water, and keeping them in a dark room overnight. When you unwrap them in the morning, they'll be perfect. Remember to rotate your vase throughout to prevent them growing one way towards the light.

We'd also recommend placing your tulips in a tall vase to help them stay upright.

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