How do I stop my tulips from drooping?
One of the most common questions I get from customers is “How do I stop my tulips from drooping?” Everyone loves tulips but people can be reluctant to use them as a cut flower because their stems are bent or they droop. The good new is, there is something you can do to straighten those stems out.
Here’s a few tips to get the most out of your tulips.
Condition your Tulips
This simple, 2 step process will maximise the vase life of all cut flowers.
- Remove all leaves that will sit below the water line of the vase. This inhibits bacteria growth keeping the water your Tulips will drink clean and fresh (looks nicer too!)
- Cut 1-2cm off the end of each stem. Cut flowers protect themselves by creating a seal on the ends of their stems (similar to humans with cuts and abrasions) which reduces their ability to take up water. Re-cutting the stems removes this seal and allows them to take a nice, big drink. Cutting the stems on an angle increases the surface area for them to drink with as well.
Wrap them in Paper
If you bring your tulips home and their stems are very curved, condition them (as outlined above) and wrap the top half of the bunch firmly in some brown paper or paper towel. Place them in a tall, straight vase about 2/3 the height of the stems and leave overnight (don’t forget the water!) This should straighten them right up.
Choose the right vase.
Tulips continue to grow once they have been cut – their stems can grow as much as 1-2cm per day! As they grow and their buds open up, the weight of the flower heads may cause the stems to droop so it’s important to choose a vase that allow for these things.
Use a cylindrical vase that is at least 50% the height of the stems. This gives the stems enough support down below and enough space to move up top.
Rotate your vase.
Tulips are PHOTOTROPIC which means their flowers follow the sun. They seek out sun and light and lean towards it. A vase of tulips sitting on a table next to a window will bend towards the window in search of the sun. When dark outside, they will lean towards an artificial light source like a lamp.
Rotating your vase every day helps keep the stems upright as they will always be on the move, looking for the brightest place in the room.
Keep them well hydrated.
Just like people, flowers like to drink clean, fresh water and Tulips are really thirsty! Don’t fill the vase up to the very top – 1/3 full is the perfect amount.
Re-cut their stems and change their water every second day (or sooner if the water level has dropped – don’t let them dry out!) Cut at least 1cm from the bottom of each stem. This will assist with water uptake, prevent them outgrowing their vase and help keep them upright.
Some people are big advocates of adding flower food, sugar, bleach or coins to the water. I’ve never been a fan of these things. In my experience, nothing beats clean, cool water. Simples!
Go with the flow.
Few things in nature are perfect so just go with the flow of your tulips.
Treat yourself to 2-3 bunches and display them en masse in a glass vase. Embrace their free flowing, whimsical dance and enjoy.