How do I stop my tulips from drooping?

Here at Silver Grey we are a little obsessed by tulips at the moment. Tulips are the central flower to all of our bunches and bouquets.  Whilst the snow is delaying everything in the field, we are taking the time to get even more excited about the flowers that are yet to erupt from the ground. So here is a little of what we know.  

5 usefully random facts about Tulips:

  • Tulips are part of the Lily family,
  • Tulips originate from South Asia,
  • Tulips are the national flower of Turkey and Afghanistan,
  • In the early 1600's Tulip mania hit the Netherlands and briefly tulips became the most expensive flower,
  • Tulip petals are edible and were eaten during the Dutch famine (1944) with sugar beets.

We often associate these iconic spring flowers with Holland. Certainly the Netherlands is the biggest commercial producer of the bulbs, with in excess of 3 billion bulbs being produced every year. However the first tulips are not reported to have been grown in Holland until 1593 by the flemish botanist Carolus Clusius.

Tulips are perennials, which means that they bloom for more than 2 years if they are left in the ground. Their flowers once cut last for 5-7 days.  This can be prolonged by keeping the stems cool, dark and out of water.  However doing this also means that the flowers do not open.  Once tulips are cut and in water their maximum vase life is 5-7 days.

With this in mind, it is really helpful to know the following 2 things about tulips:

  • Once you put them back into water they start to grow again,
  • When tulips grow they move towards the light.

It is these 2 characteristics that lead to the classical droopy tulip stem as the blooms open.  To my mind this droop is the most beautiful and rather seductive feature of the flower. However last season, the question that I was asked the most was: 'How do I stop my tulips from drooping?'

Here are some tips that will help to keep your tulips tall and straight for longer:

  • Keep your flowers cool and out of direct sunlight,
  • Place your vase somewhere cool and dark over night,
  • Cut the stems every couple of days (at an angle to make sure that they have a good surface to drink from),
  • Make sure that the water is clean cool and fresh by changing it every couple of days.

These things will help, as will arranging the stems amounts stronger fillers and foliage (one of the reasons that we mingle tulips with dried flowers). Ultimately flowers and nature all have their own habit. My advice to you is to try not to correct their habits and enjoy them for what they are.

This goes for all flowers really.  Unless they are dried, in which case we are taking advantage of one of their natural properties, flowers have a lifecycle and an individual style. Flowers set a wonderful example to us.  We can manipulate them as much as we like, but we can't make them be something they are not!  It's one of the things that I love about them. What do you like about flowers?


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published