Your flowers will stand up straighter and last longer with these easy tips.
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As fresh-cut flowers go, tulips are usually among the most affordable when you're looking for blooms to add a little extra color around the house. And even though they are typically associated with spring, these flowers often can be found year-round in stores. However, they do have a tendency to droop over in the vase more than other flowers. To keep these beautiful blooms looking fresh for as long as possible, you've probably heard about home remedies such as adding a dash of bleach or dropping a penny into the water. While those methods aren't actually very effective, here are a few proven ways to keep your tulips standing straight and looking gorgeous.

white cut tulips cut flowers in vase on windowsill
Credit: Matthew Benson

1. Use Floral Preservatives

Many store-bought bouquets come with a small packet of flower food to mix into the water. If you're cutting tulips from your own garden, you can find larger containers or packs of flower food packets online or at garden centers. Follow the instructions on the packet and your blooms should last longer than flowers kept in plain water. Sometimes, you'll hear that adding citrus soda or a spoonful of sugar will keep your flowers fresh, but none of them work quite as well as flower food.

2. Be Mindful of Plant Pairings

A springtime combination that seems like a no-brainer is a bouquet of daffodils and tulips. While they may look pretty together in a vase, you may notice that your tulips will droop and dry out much faster than the daffodils. This is because daffodils have a chemical in their sap that makes it difficult for the tulip stems to take up water. If you want to keep your cut tulips (or other flowers) happy as can be, avoid pairing them with daffodils in a vase.

3. Give Them a Twist

Unlike many other cut flowers, tulips have the ability to grow and bend toward the light (they can actually grow up to an inch even after being cut), so you may notice cut tulips start to droop if they're on a side away from the window. Rotate your vase each day to help the stems stay straight and to give each bloom balanced light.

4. Make a Fresh Cut

After a few days, your tulips may look droopy even if you've done all the right things to keep them upright. But don't throw them out yet! First, try trimming about an inch off the cut ends with clean kitchen scissors. Snip each stem at a roughly 45-degree angle, and then put them all back in the vase with fresh water. Given them an hour to re-hydrate and the flowers should look perky again.

Comments (1)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
March 21, 2019
The absolute best way to keep them from drooping is to use a pin and insert in the stem right below the bloom -- don't stick it all the way through, just a little pin prick --- it is amazing.........