When buying cut tulips, choose stems with ‘tight buds’ showing colour at the top, but still green at the base. Before putting the flowers in cool fresh water, take a sharp knife and cut the stems to allow the flowers to suck water up easily. Within a few days, the flower buds will open and hopefully last for seven to ten days.
Tulips are heavy drinkers so make sure you’re changing the water every day. Most cut flowers like the pouch of cut flower food provided by the florist or garden centre, but tulips are an exception. They do quite well without as long as they have fresh water to drink.
Unlike most cut flowers, tulips continue to grow in the vase. As they grow taller, you’ll notice that they’ll lean towards the nearest light source. This is called phototropism. If you’re tulips get to leggy, re-trim the stems to help the flowers stand up tall and straight again…or if you like the floppy, natural look – leave them be.