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7 Tips for Happy Tulips

Get a big dose of spring with a bunch of colorful, fresh-cut tulips. Follow these simple steps for pretty arrangements that will last longer.


We’ve got the cure for the blahs. Buy a bunch of colorful, fresh-cut tulips (you’ll often find them for less than ten dollars!) and get a big dose of spring. Then have fun arranging your pretty blooms.Tulip arrangements are never the same two days in a row. Their graceful arching stems continue to grow and bend toward the light even after they are cut. I think this is the best part of their charm.

Opposites Attract for Gorgeous Arrangements

This is a great time to forage for some woody stems and branches to pair with your tulips. If you are lucky they might even bloom for you! My favorite woodies for tulip arrangements are pussy willow, forsythia, dogwood, quince, cherry, pear, apple and curly willow. The contrast of rough bark and silky petal, straight branch and curving stem is beautiful.

Tips to Make Them Last Longer

Here are a few tips to maximize the life of your tulip arrangement:

  • Buy blooms that have the color developed but are still tightly closed.
  • Harden off the flowers by wrapping the whole bunch tightly in paper, cut the stem ends on an angle and place in clean, cold water. Let them condition this way in a cool (or cold) spot for a couple of hours before arranging.
  • Use a tall vase to support the growing stems.
  • Make sure the vase is absolutely clean.
  • Use fresh, cold water with no additives. That means do not add pennies, sugar, lemon-lime soda, aspirin or bleach. All tulips need is fresh, cold water, preferably not treated by a water conditioner.
  • Arrange your flowers, with or without twigs, and remove any leaves that fall below the water line. Remember that the tulips will grow taller.
  • Place your arrangement in a cool spot, away from heat and bright light.

What color tulips will you choose? Will it be white tulips with cherry branches, purple tulips with forsythia? I’d love to hear your faves! Visit our spring gatherings site for more expert tips on what to cook and how to cook it, being the host- or host-ess with the most-est and fun ideas for cooking with kids.

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