Bright, colorful tulips are happiness on a stem. Perfect for special occasions like Mother’s Day (or just because), these cheerful flowers can easily brighten your mood. Whether you’re the one gifting or receiving, you want your tulips to last a long time. Follow these buying and caring tips from Global Flower Buyer Kate Kennedy to enjoy them for days ahead.
Check out the Floral department in your local store for fresh-cut tulip arrangements.
How to Buy Tulips
If you’re buying tulips for Mom or someone special in advance, you’ll want to make sure they stay in tip top condition. Use these pointers to buy the best tulips — and keep them beautiful.
Pick tulips with purpose.
The tulips you’ll find in our Floral department aren’t just any tulips. We source ours from just two farms, one in California and one in Virginia, and we’ve been doing it for years. Our suppliers are also our friends — and we’ve forged close relationships with them. So, when you pick up a bunch from our stores, you’re supporting the farm workers who cultivated them.
Choose your perfect color.
All of our stores offer white, pink, purple, red, yellow, orange and bicolor tulips. With the option to choose just one color or a blend of colors, you can put together the ideal bouquet for your occasion.
Select blooms carefully.
If possible, choose blooms that have their color developed but are still tightly closed. If you’re buying tulips ahead of time, this ensures that they won’t bloom too early.
Place in water.
Once your flowers are home, you’ll want to get them into water quickly. Ask for complimentary flower food packets in your store’s Floral department — these will also help preserve the freshness if you need to hold them for a day or two before your occasion.
How to Care for Tulips at Home
Whether you’ve just received tulips as a gift or you’re displaying them for a special occasion, you’ll want to enjoy their cheer for as long as possible. Here are a few tips to maximize the life of your arrangement.
Trim the stems.
Before arranging your tulips, cut the stem ends on a diagonal using sharp kitchen shears. This increases the surface area, helping them to more easily absorb water and extend their life.
Choose the right vase.
Tulips will continue to grow upward, so you’ll want to use a tall, straight vase to support their long stems. Make sure the vase is extra clean first, place your flowers, then fill with water about halfway up. You’ll also want to remove any leaves that fall below the water line.
Use fresh, cold water with no additives.
All tulips need is fresh, cold water (preferably not treated by a water conditioner). Avoid adding pennies, sugar, lemon-lime soda, aspirin or bleach to the water.
Avoid direct sunlight.
Tulips are sensitive to sunlight and can wilt easily if they’re exposed to excessive heat. Keep them at their best by placing your arrangement in a cool spot, away from bright light.
Check the water often.
Tulips tend to be thirstier than other flowers, so keep an eye on the water level to make sure it doesn’t get too low. Also, get into the habit of changing the water daily to prevent cloudiness.