Flower Care

Flower Care Guide: Tulips

How To Care For Tulips

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!

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!

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 Bouq even more special than it already is!

Tulip Symbolism

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 stone cutter 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.

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

Now you know what your tulips symbolize, 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!

Prep Your Tulips

Taking adequate care of tulip bouquets is similar to most other flowers but comes with one major caveat, being that their longer than average stems require more support, so they don’t droop or break in half.

There are a few simple ways to remedy this, but the easiest two solutions are to pick a vase that is tight enough so that stems support each other, and by not giving them too much water at any given time because tulips continue to grow even after being cut. And the taller they grow, the more likely they are to droop. Filling one-third of your vase with room temperature water should do the trick.

Let’s move on to the next steps:

  • Trim one inch off the stems with a sharp knife—cutting at an angle while holding them underwater will promote water absorption.
  • Remove any leaves that would be under your vase’s waterline to prevent rotting.
  • Add flower food and a drop of liquid bleach to the vase.
  • Arrange as desired or take some tips from the homemaking goddess herself, Martha Stewart!

Find the Perfect Place to Show-off Your Tulips

Good job! 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 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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