Saturday, January 19, 2008

how to keep tulips upright

I love tulips and here on the west coast we get these trumpeted harbingers of Spring much earlier than we should. I can never resist them. But year after year I bring them home and the same thing happens -- they fall over. I've tried tall vases, short vases, pennies in the water, a pinhole just under the head. Nothing has worked until just the other day.

I saw the first tulips of the season and had to have some. I asked the florist, Lucy, if she had any tips on how to keep them upright. She did and as you can see from the photo above it worked! (The tulips had been indoors more than 24 hours at the time the photo was taken. It's now another six hours later and they haven't moved.) Let me share her wisdom.

Lucy's failsafe tulip method:

  1. Choose the straightest tulips you can find. If they're curved to begin with, this isn't going to work.
  2. Do not trim the ends when you get them home.
  3. Place 3-4 pennies per bunch in the vase (there are 4 bunches above so 16 pennies).
  4. Fill the vase with cold, COLD water. Use ice water from the fridge if you have it.
  5. When you change the water, keep using cold water.
According to Lucy what usually happens with tulips is that they suck up too much water which weighs down the head and bends them over. The combination of a sealed end and cold water keeps water intake to a minimum and will prolong the beauty of your cut tulips. (Adding a foundation plant like daisies also helps to give them something to lean against.)

Pretty, pretty, pretty. Does this mean it's Spring?

5 comments:

◄THIS IS ME said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
◄THIS IS ME said...

Someone once asked photographer Allen Hopkins what the trick was to good photography. He simply replied, "f/8 and be there."

Good job with the f/8 part Claire.

BTW, what are the pennies in the tulip vase for?

Alvin & Denise Engler said...

thanks for the tip -- i love tulips too. this is so exciting!!
-de

DAve & JAnie said...

It may be spring there, but it's the very dead of winter here. Awful and cold. It was nice to link to your page to find bright tulips!
Great tips! now my tulips will stay straight when our spring comes around!
have a warm-er day!

Darcy & Sharon said...

I'm ready for spring!