Tulips are among the most colorful harbingers of spring in Minnesota. But in the Twin Cities, our spring the weather can change hour to hour and day to day so it’s probable that your spring-flowering tulipswill be outside while you are inside. They are the first indication of the beautiful flowers to come through the rest of spring and into summer. Bringing them inside to enjoy and brighten the days is easy. Conditioning them so the blooms last as long as possible means you will get the maximum bloom time out of them. There are some simple ways that you can ensure the best blooms.
- Cut flowers in the early morning. Otherwise the heat of the day uses up their carbohydrate reserves.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and carry it into the garden with you. Cutting the flowers stems at an angle and putting them into the water immediately will ensure that air doesn’t get into the tissues clogging the cells that need to conduct water through the flower. This will lengthen the life of the flowers once you’ve placed them in the vase.
- First remove all the foilage that is going to be under the water level of your vase. Once you’ve done that, submerge the flowers in a warm water solution of the floral preservative for a minimum of eight hours.
- Now you’re ready to arrange your floral bouquet. Using a sharp knife, re-cut the stems of the flowers to the right height. Avoid using scissors or pruning shears because they crush the tissues that conduct water through the stems of the flowers. Arrange the flowers the way you want and enjoy.
- Another way to maximize flowers is to every two to three days clean the vase, re-cut the stems, and use new floral preservative. The floral preservatives give the flowers sugars which feed the flower, antibacterials which keep bacteria from growing in the water, and citric acids that make the flowers draw water up their stems easier.
If you’ve been admiring your neighbors’ beautiful tulips and wish you had some bright spring color in your yard, now is the time to plan for next year’s tulip season. Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, so you’ve got plenty of time to work with us on a garden design that incorporates tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs such as narcissus, hyacinths, and crocus.