Flower Care

Flower Care Guide: Tulips

How To Care For Tulips

Spring is here, and the best way to accessorize your home is by ordering a bouquet of tulips. Not only are tulips a signature stamp of the spring season, but they also brighten up and draw more attention to any room. These traditional spring flowers are as beautiful as they are sweet, and if maintained properly, they will stay strong and vibrant for up to 10 days after being clipped. Here’s how to care for tulips in the comfort of your own home so you can maximize how long your tulips last.

Tulips are the original spring-breakers, they break in the spring season with their undeniable charm and attractiveness. Yes, we’ll go ahead and admit it, as huge tulip fans we are a bit biased in our unflinching love for these gorgeous flowers. Hey, at least we’re honest about it!

Tulip Mania

And it’s definitely not just us who love them. The Ottomans fell head over heels for tulips and their cute bulbs. So obviously, when they first discovered tulips in Central Asia, they brought them back to Turkey, and they quickly became a symbol of indulgence, high status, riches, and abundance. They were everywhere in Turkey: etched into fabrics, carved into the walls of mosques, and used as decorative motifs on clothing and armor.

Later, in the 1600s, tulips made their way to the Netherlands, and the Dutch absolutely lost their minds over them, and a shocking/hilarious phenomenon called “Tulip Mania” ensued. Overnight, tulips became a luxurious and exotic commodity, sometimes worth as much as a house. The nouveau riche in Holland just couldn’t get enough of them!

Basically, it was the ultimate way for someone to flaunt their wealth to others. But, as you could have guessed, the tulip bubble—or should we say, bulb?—burst, and thousands of Dutch people lost their life savings. Yikes!

Tulips Today

Nowadays, tulips remain loved all around the world. In fact, they are the third most popular flower behind roses and chrysanthemums (take that springtime rivals poppies and ranunculus!) As you can see, tulips are pretty much awesome. If you were lucky enough to somehow get gifted a precious tulip Bouq or simply bought one for yourself (and why not treat yourself!), you’ll definitely want to know the ins and outs of how to care for tulips.

That way they can keep strutting their stuff for as long as possible, which for fresh tulips is around one week. But before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at the symbolism and meanings behind tulips. Trust us; it’ll make your tulip bouquet even more special than it already is!

Origin of Tulips

You might ask: where do tulips come from? The name “tulip” comes from the Turkish word for turban, thanks to the bloom’s turban-like shape. And, unsurprisingly, most of the meanings that tulips carry also come from the Turks.

According to one legend, a stonecutter named Farhad fell deeply in love with a beautiful princess named Shirin. He tried to win her heart, but she kept rejecting him, as he was just a lowly commoner. Farhad didn’t give up. Every day he traveled to the hills to play music for sweet Shirin. After seeing this devotion, Shirin eventually fell in love with him too.

Shirin’s father, the king, did not approve of their relationship because he wanted her to be with someone of higher status, so he told Farhad that he would have to dig a deep canal to win her hand in marriage. It was a monumental task that Shirin’s father didn’t think was possible. After many years though, Farhad finally finished digging the canal. But the King lied to Farhad and said Shirin had tragically died. Heartbroken, Farhad took his own life.

When Shirin heard that the love of her life had passed, she visited his grave and took her own life so she could be with him forever. Red tulips sprouted from his grave where her dead body laid, symbolizing their everlasting love for each other.

Tulip Meanings

Other colored tulips also carry their own distinct meanings:

  • White tulips symbolize forgiveness.
  • Pink tulips symbolize happiness.
  • Yellow tulips symbolize joy and excitement.
  • Purple tulips symbolize nobility.

How to Care for Tulips in 5 Simple Steps

Now you know what your tulips symbolize, so let’s take a close look at what proper tulip bouquet care entails. After all, you don’t want any of those pretty little flowers losing their gorgeous allure, now do you? So grab a nice clean vase and let’s get to work!

1. Keep The Cut Ends Wrapped In A Moist Towel

Freshly cut tulip care starts the moment they leave the enriched soil they called home. To maximize the strength of your tulips, wrap the cut stalk ends in a moist paper towel while searching for an appropriate vase. Cut one-fourth inch off the ends of the stalks at a forty-five-degree angle before transferring them to a vase. This will help the tulips soak up more water once they are forever set in their vase as well as keep them from prematurely wilting

2. Find Your Tulip’s Forever Home in A Beautiful Vase

Picking out a vase for your Bouq of tulips may seem like a simple task, but it requires a bit more thought than just pulling one out of the cabinet. The perfect sized vase for caring for tulips is about half the height of the flowers themselves. This will give you the perfect amount of space for water as well as keep the tulip stalks strong and healthy. As tulips age, their stems start to bend to the side, but a properly sized vase will help keep them straight and strong for as long as possible. Some tulips are known to still grow after being cut, so a tall vase will accommodate them well. We recommend an elegantly simple vase, to not take away from the beauty of the vivacious tulips themselves.

3. Proper Care For Tulips Means Cold Crisp Water

Tulips love water, and choosing the right kind of water will make all the difference in the look and lifespan of these beautiful flowers. Always fill the vase three-fourths full with cold fresh water. Warm water will quicken the tulip’s wilting pace, and you will see them start to prematurely droop. We recommend changing the water every other day to fully care for your tulips. In addition to fresh cold water, you can also help keep your tulips strong by mixing in flower food, lemon juice, half a teaspoon of regular cane sugar, or dropping a penny into the vase.

4. Avoid Direct Sunlight To Maximize Your Tulip Care

Tulips are not a fan of the heat and should not be placed directly in front of a window. They open and bloom with direct sunlight so keeping them away from this heat will prevent premature wilting. Tulips do not have a long lifespan after they are open, so keeping them out of direct sunlight will keep them strong and healthy. The stems may grow and bend toward the sunlight, but this is natural for this flower, and many others.

5. Pick Complementing Flower Arrangements

Although tulips are beautiful on their own, you may want to purchase a Bouq that includes a variety of flowers. If you make your own arrangement, it is important to be mindful about which flowers are toxic to tulips. Daffodils and narcissus will wilt and cut down the lifespan of your beautiful tulips so keep them out of the same vase. The best complimenting flowers to add are hydrangea, roses, and kale.

Find the Perfect Place to Show-off Your Tulips

Feeling good about your tulip arrangement? Great! At this point, you should have an exquisite vase of tulips in your hand. Now, let’s find them a suitable spot to call their own.

Of course, you’re going to want to put them in a place where they can show off everything they’re working with. But first, it’s important to consider a couple of things. First, never, ever, ever place tulips or any other vase of flowers in direct sunlight. And second, always keep them away from hot or cold drafts.

Long story short, these things will dehydrate your lovely tulips and send them to flower heaven a lot sooner than they (or you!) would have wanted.

Recondition Every Two Days

In tulip bouquet care, it’s always a good policy to recondition your blooms every other day. Essentially, this just means changing their water, re-trimming their stems, and adding more flower food—if you ran out of flower food packets, don’t worry. Just toss in a tablespoon of sugar as an alternative. DIY FTW!

There you have it! Everything you need to know to keep that beautiful Bouq of tulips looking… well, beautiful.

If you don’t have a fresh tulip Bouq yet, though, or just want some more (hey, you can never have too many tulips!), why not grab a handcrafted, farm-to-table Bouq from one of our artisan florists at The Bouqs Co? We guarantee it’ll look all kinds of stunning in your home!

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