I love having fresh tulips inside to enjoy. I love watching them bloom and grow (yes, tulips continue to grow even after they are cut- an inch or so is typical). I love to photograph them and paint them. This is a photo I took of a tulip I have been enjoying that I recently cut from our yard.
I often hear complaints about tulips just not lasting very long, especially cut tulips.
Tulip paintings and prints last super long... but so can your cut tulips, I have some great tips to help:
1. Select tulips that have a tight or nearly closed bloom.
2. Remove any green leaves that would be submerged in the water. The stems will also die back first- remove them as soon as they begin to wilt.
3. Trim the stem at an angle with sharp scissors or a knife (do this while the stem is wet and do not allow it to dry out before being put in the vase) Trim the stems a little more each day.
4. Change the water in your vase at least once a day. I like to use cold water, I even add ice chips sometimes. (tulips like to be cold- that is why they thrive in colder climates and early spring)
6. Display your tulips in a cool place free from direct sunlight or draft from the heater vent.
5. Put your tulips in the fridge at night (this will give them the same cold treatment they would get outside in the ground and it prolongs the life of the bloom) I know it sounds silly, but it will really make them last a lot longer.
I can keep tulips going inside for around 2 weeks using all of these tulip tips.
Oh, and one more tip: Because tulips grow after they are cut- they tend to conform to the shape of the vase and the stems become curvy. If you want to straighten them, you can wrap a few layers of damp newspaper around them for a few hours (keep them in the vase while you do this)
Enjoy your cut tulips!