How to Cut Tulips for a Long Vase Life


Tulips can be cut almost any time in their season—but leave the foliage in place, still attached to the bulb, so they can build energy for next year's blooms. For a longer vase life, cut them in an advanced bud stage, when the blooms are still closed, but the color of the flower is evident. Cut off at least a 1/2 inch of the stems on an angle with sharp scissors or knife and place them immediately into water. Floral preservatives aren't necessary for tulips, but replace the water every day, making a fresh cut at the base of the stem. Tulips prefer cool room temperatures. Avoid combining them with the Narcissus family (paperwhites or daffodils), which exude a gummy sap that can shorten the vase life of the tulips. Tulip blooms last 3-7 days if given proper care.

Before closing its doors, the International Flower Bulb Centre identified several varieties of tulips known for their especially long vase life. If you want to grow tulips for cut flowers, consider planting 'Angelique,' 'Don Quichotte,' 'Attila,' 'Queen of Bartigons,' 'Pax,' 'Yokohama,' 'Ile de France,' 'Negrita,' 'Leen van der Mark,' 'Prinses Irene,' or Rosario.'

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