Pinewoods Yankee Farm
Tina is a farmer florist growing and designing with field grown cut flowers during the New England growing season and sourcing flowers all year round for designs and events. Her blog Color Your Life with Flowers highlights stories depicting how flowers enrich our lives. Many local farmers, florists, designers, and flower lovers make up a community of writers that share the flower love with you all.
Tulips have a mind of their own and tend to grow and bend, weave and mingle more than most other types of flowers in the vase. Fresh cut tulips are geotropic, they bend with gravity. They are also phototropic, they continue to grow toward the light even after they are cut. They can grow as much as several inches. The tulip blossoms open wide during the day, and close up at night. All these graceful habits make the tulip an interesting and adorable flower to brighten your winter days. Have some fun.
Place your tulips in a clean tall cylinder vase of about 3-4" of cool water and leave overnight out of light sources. The tight kraft wrap will strengthen and straighten the tulip stems creating the least drooping of your flowers over time. Choose a vase that is straight and tall enough to help support the tulips.
To keep your tulips looking pretty, fresh, and happy the longest recut their stems every 2-3 days. They are big water drinkers so be sure they don't run out of water. Change their vase water regularly to keep bacteria from clogging the stems. You've heard my flower water mantra before at market. "Your flower water should be as clean as the water you would drink from a glass." It makes them last so much longer. Ice cubes in the water can also keep the tulips lasting longer. Remove any leaves as you cut the stems down. Keep the tulips away from direct sunlight and heat. Rotate the vase of tulips regularly to even out their phototropic habits. With TLC tulips should last about 7 days after opening.
Even itty bitties made of the last short stems of tulips are fun in the windowsill, the bathroom, or bedroom.
One last tip: It is fun to combine tulips and daffodils. If you do be sure to soak the daffodils in their own water for 6 hours after cutting their stems. After cutting daffodils they emit a sap that will plug the tulip stems if not soaked first.
Enjoy having tulips on your table and in your home. It's the little things that make life wonderful.
Tina Fottler Sawtelle
Pinewoods Yankee Farm