Spring has sprung, which means one thing: It’s tulip season! Blue skies and the promise of constant sunshine make it abundantly clear that there’s plenty of room for this pretty blossom. There’s so much more than meets the eye to these complex flowers. With hundreds of species, thousands of varieties, and nearly every color in the rainbow available, you’ll have countless options to choose from.
It makes sense that you’d want to put a little extra time and effort into nurturing your tulips this season. They’re synonymous with spring, add vibrancy and rich color to any space, and will thrive beautifully under the right conditions. So what exactly are those conditions? Here’s what you should know about how to care for your tulips.
Trim the Stems for Growth
Stems should be trimmed regularly for many reasons. The most important one, of course, is because that opening provides your tulips with the moisture they need. Make sure to cut at least one inch at a 45-degree angle instead of in a straight line, and do so under a stream of water. When you cut the stem dry, it instantly loses contact with moisture. Putting them underwater is an easy way to keep the water flowing and preventing air pockets from forming.
As you trim, examine the rest of the flower, too. Snip away any errant leaves that might otherwise touch the water in the vase when you put the bouquet back inside. You can repeat this process at least every couple of days — essentially every time you replace the water. Remember to always cut at an angle, as doing so transforms the stem into a “straw” of sorts and allows it to consume as much water as possible. Don’t worry about losing size, by the way. Tulips continue to grow even after they’re cut!
Feed Them Plenty of Water
Tulips use quite a bit of water, so it’s a good idea to refresh them regularly. Cold water is best since these flowers don’t mind a little bit of a brisk chill. You can even place a few ice cubes inside the vase when you change the water. The vase should be at least three-quarters full. Repeat this every time you trim the stems and add fresh water.
A little bit of flower food won’t hurt, either! But if you don’t have that, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice or half a teaspoon of cane sugar to keep your tulips strong and vibrant. When feeding your tulips, avoid warm water at all costs — it will cause those beautiful blooms to wilt prematurely.
Manage Their Sun Exposure
They love water, but tulips aren’t fond of excessive exposure to sunlight. They also don’t crave heat, so you should avoid situating them directly in the window or anywhere where they would receive regular and direct sunlight. These bright plants are naturally photosensitive, so the more light they receive, the faster they’ll open up — and wilt.
Just don’t be alarmed if it seems to bend or twist in the direction of the light. That’s natural for a tulip, but so long as it’s not anywhere in the vicinity of constant heat, it should perform just fine. Tulips look stunning anywhere in the home, from the dining table to the family room to the bedroom. With a little bit of TLC, they have the potential to stay that way for weeks!