Did you know that tulips can dance? Yes, you read correctly. Tulips ‘dance’. When those straight up-and-down soldier stems are popped into a vase they naturally turn into graceful tulip-ballerinas, bending, stretching and curving in all directions.
We like to call it ‘dancing in their vase’. Unlike other flowers, cut tulips actually continue to grow in length when placed in water. Their stems grow upwards, causing them to bend and bow in the vase in a special ‘tulip dance’.
There is a scientific term if we really want to get to the nitty gritty of the tulip dancing phenomena… Known as ‘phototropism’, the ‘dance movement’ occurs as the stems grow upward, while the large flowers respond and grow towards the light. (1)
And while we’re bursting with facts here, tulip flowers open wide during the day and close at night. You just never know, tidbits of information like this can be supremely handy for Pub Trivia!
So next time you see a bunch of straight-stemmed tulips with small tight heads, be rest assured that once you peel off their snug wrapping and place them in water, their stems will droop, curve and bend, while their heads will grow larger as they open. No need to fret. This is perfectly normal. Graceful even. In our world, beautifully artistic!
Caring for Cut Tulips
Tulips are thirsty little critters. To make sure your cut tulips last as long as possible, either top up the vase or change the water daily to maximise vase life.
Handy Tip: Place tulips in a clear vase so you can keep an eagle eye on the water level!
Before arranging them in a vase, cut around 1/4 inch off their stems at an angle with a sharp knife or pair of scissors. This will help open up the tulip’s ability to ‘suck’ water inside, so to speak.
Peel off any leaves that may be submerged in the water, to prevent them from rotting and causing the flowers to go limp.
Make sure your vases has been thoroughly cleaned with warm, soapy water to remove any bacteria.
Fill vase with cool water, and your tulips will thank you! Tulips do not like warm or hot water.
With proper care, tulips should open and last from three to seven days. Keep away from sources of heat (including direct sunlight, radiators, lamps and television sets). (1)
The Perfect Tulip Vase
There is an art to making the tulip dance perfectly, and that is in the choice of vase you display them in. A tall vase that is at least half the height of the tulip stems when you bring them home is perfect. If you choose a shorter vase, your tulip stems will bend over more, which does look beautiful, but may shorten the vase life of your tulips.
Also make sure the vase provides enough room for each stem to ‘breathe’. If the tulips are ‘crushing’ each other it is more likely to create premature petal dropping.
Handy Tip: Back in the ‘days’ it was recommended to place a copper penny in a tulip vase to increase their lifespan. As it’s not so easy to get your hands on these nowadays, we recommend using ‘flower food’ supplied by florists. (2)
Tulips are currently in season and at their best. Enjoy them while you can! Tulips make beautiful gifts for mum on Mother’s Day too. Check out our gorgeous gift wrapped pink tulips for mum.