Floral Design 101 :: A Tulip How-To

Awhile back I was freelancing at Flora Nova in Seattle and we were discussing how to stop tulips from growing in bridal work. I’m sure most of you have experienced this phenomenon, right, of the Tulip growing out of your arrangements? Ok, so it isn’t really a phenomenon. Tulips are phototropic – meaning they grow and move in response to searching for light. Of course, this is partially what I find intriguing about the tulip, a floral design changes daily as the tulip moves and grows. Yet, this is not necessarily something I want to happen when including tulips in my bridal/bridesmaids’ bouquets. Christiane of Flora Nova showed me a trick she had been taught, to slice the stem right below the bloom to slow the growth of the tulip. I was skeptical, does it really work? Plus, you all know I like a good test/challenge — so here goes! I picked up 20 stems of extremely fresh & tight tulips from the wholesaler and tried out this technique.
See what happens —

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips in sleeves

Two bunches of tulips fresh from the wholesaler. I will mix the two bunches and divide them evenly for the test.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow Tulips

Tulips all stripped of bottom foliage and cleaned with fresh clips on stems.

Flirty Fleurs, How to stunt the growth of tulips

How do you stunt the growth? Simply cut under the bloom with a sharp knife. Be sure to not go all the way thru the stem! I sliced about 1/3 of the way into the stem.

Flirty Fleurs - How to stunt the growth of tulips

Another angle, you can see I slightly push down and slice below the bloom – this slows the growth of the tulip.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow tulips in blue jars

Freshly processed tulips are place in clear water (no flower food)

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips how-to care for tulips

Day 3 – Cutting the stems does work! You can see the 4 tulips on the right side are smaller than the 3 on the left.

Flirty Fleurs, Tulip Treatment

Tulips on Day 6, You can see the bottom 4 are smaller than the top 3. The bottom 4 are the tulips which were cut.

Flirty Fleurs - Tulip How-To Test

Day 6 – Top 3 have not been cut, bottom 4 are cut.

Isn’t that something? From what I can see with all the tulips it looks to be best to slice the tulip when it gets to the stage where you want to slow the growth. A few of the really green, tight tulips that I sliced are not growing and opening – the good side of that is that I’ll have tulips to enjoy for at least two weeks at home!

Related posts:

Comments

  1. Blair Roberts says:

    So helpful!! Thank you for sharing. If only this advice could be applied to my peonies so they won’t blow open!!

  2. How do I keep the beautiful tulips from drooping? Thank you.

  3. Great tip – new to me! Will give it a try myself. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Appreciated!

Speak Your Mind

*

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.