How to cut tulips so they can regrow?
Tulips are the quintessential spring flower. They come in a variety of colours, they’re easy to grow, and they can last for quite some time after you cut them. But if you want to get the most out of your tulip plantation, there’s one thing you should keep in mind before cutting. How to cut in a way so that the tulip plants don’t wilt away.
It’s simple, but it makes all the difference. To learn how to cut tulips so they’ll regrow, keep reading below:
Cut tulips just before they open
The best time to cut tulips is just before they open. Tulips are usually open during the day. They close at night and start to reopen shortly after sunrise. To get the characteristic look and feel of a tulip you have to harvest them before they open up. This will help keep their colour bright and prevent the leaves from fading. This will also ensure that the tulips stay in their characteristic desirable shape.
This means you should harvest them in the morning before any dew has evaporated. You should only cut a tulip if the dew hasn’t yet dried up completely. This is because the dew will keep the tulips wet and at a low temperature preventing them from opening up.
If you don’t cut the tulips immediately after sunrise, the flowers will be exposed to the sunlight. This will cause the dew to evaporate and the temperature of the tulips to rise. Tulip flowers usually open up when they reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should harvest them immediately after cutting them (and before they start opening). If tulips get dry they will start opening up. If tulips open up before you can cut them then you will lose the characteristic closed shape of the tulip flower.
To make sure that your tulip flower doesn’t die during this process of harvesting, place a few inches of water in an old plastic container (like a Tupperware) and set it aside somewhere safe where there’s no risk of it tipping over while cutting. You will then place the tulip flowers in this container immediately as you harvest them. This will allow the stems to absorb water and also keep the flowers cool and wet preventing them from opening up.
Cut them at a 45-degree angle
The tulip is a perennial plant, which means it will continue to grow long after you’ve cut it. To ensure that this happens, you need to cut them at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife which helps avoid splitting or bruising the stem of your flower and the plant. A stem cut at a 45-degree angle will allow the plant to heal quickly and regrow but if you cut the tulip stem horizontally the time it needs to heal will be increased which may cause the plant to wilt away.
Also note, If you accidentally cut the plant stem too low so that the plant has no leaves to rely upon for nutrition then the tulip plant can also run the chance of withering away.
Don’t damage the roots of the tulip plant
Make sure that you don’t damage the roots of the plant too much during the process of trimming. As with any plant if the root system is damaged then the plant will definitely wither away surely. Many new gardeners are very fond of splitting the soil with their new and shiny equipment. Don’t do that near delicate flowering plants such as tulips as you may cause them to lose their main roots and then wilt away.
How to make tulip flowers last longer
If you plan on keeping your tulips in a vase or other container, fresh-cut flowers will last longer than any other type of cut.
Tulips with leaves will generally wither away faster as the plant will need more water and nutrients to keep photosynthesis going. So cutting tulips with only the flowers is the way to go if you plan on keeping them fresh for a few days.
If you want the tulips with leaves you can cut off the tulip stem with only the bulb left in the soil. Then lay the tulips with leaves flat in a container of water, fully immersed. This is also a good way to keep your tulip flowers fresh throughout the week especially if you’re planning on using them as gifts or selling them at craft shows or farmer’s markets.
So there you have it. Now you can go on to enjoy your tulips for much longer than they would normally last and regrow them from their plants!
- Tuyl, Jaap & Creij, Marjan. (2007). Tulip. 10.1007/978-1-4020-4428-1_23. Link