How To Harvest Tulips For Bouquets
Freshly cut tulips put those store-bought bouquets to shame
Tulips are undoubtedly gorgeous in the landscape, but did you know they make an excellent cut flower too? Bring the beauty of your tulips indoors! When harvested correctly, fresh, garden-grown tulips can last for 10+ days in a vase (take THAT, store-bought bouquets!):
- Harvest tulips when the buds have plumped up and developed color, but are still tightly closed.
- Grasp the stem as close to the ground as possible and pull straight up. Remember — you can always trim for a shorter stem later!
- If you want to treat your tulips like an annual, you can pull up the entire plant, bulb and all! Then start daydreaming about what to plant in its place...
- To encourage tulips to come back next year, be sure to leave the bulb in place and several leaves on the stem — leaves will help feed energy back into the bulb so it can be ready to fuel next season's growth. Be prepared for smaller flowers the following year; and some overly cross-bred varieties simply won't return. If you are intent on large, florist-quality buds again the following year, you may want to plant a fresh batch of new tulip bulbs in the fall.
Post-Harvest Tulip Care
- Remove all the lower foliage that will extend below the water line of your container.
- Snip the ends of the stem and add to your container of fresh, cold water. Be sure to change your water daily.
- Keep tulips out of direct sunlight to prolong their buds. If you need your blooms to mature and "blow open" a little for an event, simply move them into warm sun — tulips respond quickly to temperatures changes!
- Tulips are one of the few cut flowers that will continue to GROW in water, even after they've been harvested — you may prefer to snip the stems every few days to maintain an arrangement.
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