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How to Arrange Tulips

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tulips are bright, vibrant flowers that are well-suited for floral arrangements. With the proper preparation and care, expect tulips to last for days in a cut flower arrangement. Choose a simple container that is approximately half as tall as the tallest tulip. This will help to create a visually balanced floral arrangement. Use only one tulip color or opt for a flower arrangement with a variety of colors.

Keep the tulips wrapped in the plastic wrap they were in when you purchased them. Fill the temporary vase with cool water and place the entire tulip package directly into the temporary vase. Place the temporary vase under a source of direct light and allow the tulips to sit for about an hour. This helps the tulips remain erect in the floral arrangement for a longer period.

Remove the tulips from the temporary vase and remove the plastic wrap. Clip away any leaves from the lower parts of the stems. No leaves should be under the water level of the container. Leaves under the water lead to decay, which shortens the life of the tulips.

Fill the container with warm water and use the thermometer to ensure it is about 100 degrees. Addfloral preservative according to package directions and stir well.

Hold the tulips stems under cool running water and trim away at least 1 inch from the bottom of each stem with pruning shears. Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle.

Insert the cut tulips immediately into the prepared container. It is important not to allow the freshly cut tulip stems to dry out between the time you cut them and the time you place them into the container of warm water. Tulips are attractive in a container when there are erect tulips in the center and the tulips around the outer perimeter bend outward.

Refrigerate the arrangement for two to three hours immediately after completion. This will help to condition the tulips to the floral arrangement.

Place the arrangement after refrigeration in a place that is not in direct sunlight or in the path of drafts. For best results, choose a location that is cool rather than warm.

Check the tulip arrangement daily. Add additional warm water with floral preservative so that the container is continually full.


Things You Will Need

  • Temporary vase
  • Pruning shears
  • Cylinder container (narrow enough to hold the tulips together)
  • Floral preservative
  • Warm water (100 degrees)
  • Thermometer
  • Refrigerator

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.