Why Do Tulips Droop (And How To Keep Them Standing Up)?

Why Do Tulips Droop (And How to Keep Them Standing Up)?Whether it’s about adding a pop of color to your counter or creating a centerpiece for your annual family dinner, tulips are a popular choice for floral decor. However, tulips can be a bit tricky and it’s a downer when, just two days after picking them up from the shops, your beautiful tulips have started to drop over the edge of the vase. What do you do? Well, we’ve got the answer. Here are a few tips to keep your precious blossoms beautiful and healthy.

When trying to perk up droopy, dehydrated tulips, there are 4 things you should try:

  • Cut the stems! Try cutting them at an angle whilst they’re still underwater. This will prevent gas bubbles from entering the stem.
  • Pin ‘em! Stick a pin through the stem of your tulip just below the bloom, this will have a similar impact on the flower as trimming the stems will.
  • Need a quick fix for a one-night centerpiece? Cut your stems and put your tulips into cold water. This will perk them up for a short time but be sure to keep in mind that this isn’t a sustainable way to keep your tulips healthy. Tulips should regularly be put into room temperature water or the flower may go into shock. So this trick will perk them up fast, but it will cut their lifespan.
  • Add plant food to your vase! Add a simple tablespoon of sugar, ¼ of a tablespoon of any household bleach, and two tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. Mix all of this into a cup and a half to 2 cups of warm water.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry! It’s actually easier than it sounds, just keep reading.

How to Perk Up Drooping Tulips

There’s nothing more somber than seeing beautifully vibrant tulips start to fall over the edge of your hand-picked vase. Why do they droop? It’s likely because their stems aren’t transporting water efficiently. So how do you stop this from happening? Well, keep reading because I’ve compiled a few tips that will help your tulips last longer.

White tulip drooping

Choose Your Blooms Carefully

The journey in maintaining your flower’s longevity starts as early as the garden or flower shop. There are two tips to keep in mind when picking out your flowers: the age of the flowers and the length of their stems. Now, if you want a long-lasting flower arrangement, you want the blooms with closed buds. Because they are the youngest, they will live the longest. As for the stems, you’ll want the shortest stems possible while also ensuring that they fit your vase properly. The shorter the stems, the shorter the journey water has to take to your blooms. It will become much harder to prevent drooping the longer your stem gets.

If you’re looking for a one-day, quick-cut arrangement, open blooms are fine. In addition, using cold water in the vase with your flowers will help perk them up quickly. This is only for short-term presentation, however, and is not a sustainable way to keep your flowers from drooping as your flowers will go into shock and last a shorter time. But if you’re in need of a quick fix for a dinner party, this is one way to go.

Pinning Tulips

A popular way to keep flowers from drooping is something called pinning. Just like when you cut the stems to your flowers to keep air bubbles from interrupting the water flow up to the bloom, pinning is another way to keep a steady flow of water through the blossom.

Just take a pin and put it horizontally through the stem of the flower just below the bloom. Make sure it goes completely through the center of the stem and out the other side. This will allow for extra gas to escape the stem and provide better passage for water and, if provided, nutrients from plant food.

How Long do Tulips Last in a Vase?

Purple tulips

Cared for properly, tulips can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days in a vase! However, in addition to the things mentioned earlier, there are some things you may not have considered previously that seriously impact the longevity of your blooms.

Clean Your Vase

First, before you even put water into the vase, make sure to clean your vase well with antibacterial soap. It may be easy to pass up, but a dirty vase can significantly decrease the longevity of your flowers and, of course, won’t display their beauty as well as a clean vase will.

Add Plant Food

Some people may be intimidated by the idea of plant food, but it’s actually a simple concept. Have you ever put sugar into the water at the base of a tree? That’s feeding the tree! For your tulips, something similar is needed. One of the best plant foods you can make at home is a simple mix of sugar, lemon or lime juice, and a little household bleach. adding bleach to your tulips to keep them healthy may sound weird, but it can actually be very beneficial.

Start with warm water, a cup and a half to two cups. Then, add one to two tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, ¼ of a tablespoon of household bleach, and a dash (Or about a tablespoon) of granulated white sugar. This is inexpensive and easy and will help keep your beautiful blossoms healthy for longer.

Need an alternative? Try some fizzy lemon-lime soda out for size. That’ll be one part of fizzy pop to three parts warm water and, again, ¼ tablespoons of household bleach.

Now watch your flowers come back to life!

More about tulips

If you love tulips as much as we do, we think you'll enjoy these articles too -

Where Can I Plant Tulips in My Garden?

When Do Tulips Bloom?

And for some tulip-y eye candy (as well as care tips!) you should check out our post about variegated/striped tulips and the one about black tulips.

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