Nothing screams spring like a vase of fresh tulips. Around here in Toronto, we start seeing tulips pop up in our local grocery stores and florists around mid to late February until mid April. As soon as I spot them, they have to come home with me 🙂 There are now so many pretty colours and varieties like ruffle tulips and so on. But, at the end of the day like any fresh flower arrangement, they require care and typically only last 7-9 days in the best case scenario. I thought I would share some of the tips that our local grocery store’s talented florist has shared with me over my many trips and what I follow to keep the tulips going for the full 9 days if possible.
First and foremost, when buying these flowers, get the buds that are the most closed – they will take longer to bloom and hence give you more days of foliage. If you are like me, you will also enjoy seeing them flowers bloom open. The bouquet below is an example – they buds are quite tightly closed but they could have been tighter and I was a day late in buying them. Typically if they are tightly closed they will start opening on day 2 of your purchase.
Next, once you have brought them home – ensure that the vase your are setting them in has been thoroughly washed with hot soapy water to kill any bacteria from your previous arrangement. The tulip is a delicate flower and quite susceptible to wilting due to other bacteria. Once you have this, fill your vase with ICE COLD water. Yes.. you read that right! Ice cold is the way to go with these flowers. Trim the ends of your tulips and ensure that they are the correct height for the vase you are putting them in. Because the stalks are susceptible to wilting, you want to provide them as much support as possible and by getting them the right height you will make sure they last longer.
Next order of business is to NOT put in the flower food that you are typically given at the stores.. I don’t know if this is a do or die rule, but my florist told me this once and my tulips always last at least 7 days. Theres something about the flower being sensitive that she told me about.
The last thing is to make sure that you change the water every 2-3 days or whenever its decreased as tulips drink a lot of water. Again, replacing with ice cold water is the way to go and don’t forget to trim the stalks every time you do this.
I hope this post helps you make the most out of your fresh tulips! Let me know whether the tips worked or not 🙂