If you have purchased our Farmgate Tulips you will know that they are as crisp and fresh as they come. This is because they are grown in an ideal temperate climate over the winter months in Tasmania. Yep, that's right. They get to experience the full blow of the Tasmanian winter chill. Fortunately, they love this cold exposure. It means they take a little longer to grow and develop than in other parts of Australia, however, this slower-growing cycle means that they have fabulous stem strength, flower vibrancy, and vase longevity.

But, to ensure they stay strong and vibrant in your home you need to take good care of them. As they say, the more love you give, the more love you receive. The farm has done its absolute best to grow, pick and deliver them to you, and now that they're in your hands, here are some tips and tricks to ensure you get the best vase life in your home. It will also help you to better understand how to minimise Tulips from flopping.


Cut off the stems at an angle

When you get them home and unwrap them, snip about 1cm of each stem off at a 45-degree angle. This increases the area for water absorption. Some people suggest actually cutting 1cm vertically up the stem as well. However, we only tend to do this on woodier stemmed flowers. 


Wash any farm soil from the stems

Our no-fuss approach means there may be some remnants of some farm soil caught in the lower leaves that you may have to wash off by running under the tap. Some lower leaves may look a little untidy or damaged but these have been left on the bunch to protect the stems in transport. If they are damaged and will sit under the water line in the vase then simply pull them off with a downward motion. 


Choose the right height vase

Did you know that Tulips grow (quite a lot) in stem length while in the vase? So choose a vase that has been cleaned thoroughly with hot water and one that will support them as they grow in height. They are amazing to watch! I tend to put my Tulips in a vase that is at least half the height of the flower stems (if not a little higher)


Keep the damaged leaves out of the water

It's ideal to leave the leaves on the Tulip stem, in fact, I believe keeping the leaves on helps give them some structure and strength in the vase.  However, if the leaves have been damaged below the water level we tend to pull them off because this can cause bacterial growth and accelerate wilting. The Tulip leaves that are below the water line will deteriorate at a quicker rate. Remove any leaves that do not look healthy. Some of the Tulip leaf tips may deteriorate or change colour over time too. If they have marks or don't look that nice I simply snip these off as well to keep the vase looking fresher for longer. 


Fresh water for fresh flowers

Make sure you place your Tulips in a clean vase with fresh water and fill it to at least 1/3 full. Tulips are thirsty flowers. Their succulent stems need to remain hydrated so keep an eye on the water level. I always encourage people to trim their flower stems regularly when at home and refresh the water as often as possible. However what I find with Tulips is that the more I fuss, the more they may lose their structure.  If you want your Tulips to stand tall in your vase and the water hasn't discoloured - just top the vase up with water without removing the flowers from the vase. I find that if you remove the Tulips from the vase too often to snip the ends they lose a little structure and flop. 


Out of direct sunlight

Tulips are phototropic which means they turn towards the light. This is part of their charm but try to keep them out of direct sunlight which warms the flowers and causes them to lose their stem strength. They thrive in cooler temperatures so ensure your home is relatively cool for longer vase life. Keep them away from heat sources such as heaters, lamps, and air conditioners too. 


Should I add something to the water to prolong vase life

There are a couple of reasons why people add pennies, sugar, lemon-lime soda, aspirin, or bleach to the water. The first is to give them some additional sugar for energy and the second is to minimise bacterial growth.

However, in our opinion, there is no reason why you should add any of these additives to the water when placing our Farmgate Flowers in a vase. Simply use fresh, cold water. There is no need for anything else. Our flowers are fresh and come straight from the farm so they have sufficient energy reserves to flower properly and next to no bacterial growth in the water or on the stems. You can avoid bacterial build-up by simply changing the water regularly.

Myth or Truth

Some say that pricking the tulip stem under the head with a toothpick or pin gives them an extended vase life and prevents them from drooping as well. I often hear this and am not yet fully convinced but will validate my thoughts with some of my own experiments. 

In summary, 

  1. Cut stems at an angle before placing them in a vase for better absorption
  2. Wash any farm soil from the lower stems so vase water remains clean
  3. Choose the right height vase and don't play and fuss with flowers too much
  4. Leave the leaves on the stem but remove the lower ones if damaged
  5. Tulips are thirsty so keep an eye on the water level and top up 
  6. Keep out of direct sunlight. The cooler the room the stronger they stay
  7. A clean vase and fresh water for fresh flowers.
  8. Our flowers are fresh and long-lasting so additives are not a necessity. 

Happy Tuliping!

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