Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

17 Jan

How to style and look after Tulips


How-to-style-and-look-after-Tulips-by-Geraldine-Tan-of-Little-Big-Bell It may still be January, and despite a light sprinkling of snow today, Spring is in the air for me.

Why? you may ask. Quite simply because I’m starting to see Tulips being sold everywhere. To me, Tulips signify impending Spring and bright optimism.

Have you ever bought a gorgeous bunch of Tulips home, only to find that they have drooped? Trying to style droopy Tulips must surely kill the joy?

So, how do the Florists keep their Tulips looking fresh and upright? I’ve researched and tested many tips, and would love to share it with you.

You could also find out more interesting facts and information on Tulips and other flowers in general at Funny How Flowers Do That. How-to-decorate-Tulips-Little-Big-Bell Here’s the bunch of Tulips that I bought.

Unsurprisingly, I picked two of my favourite colours, bright pink and yellow. How-to-cut-flowers-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell A sharp pair of scissors is best to ensure the stems don’t get damaged when cut.

If yourTulips look droopy before you can style them in a vase, then the best thing to do is to keep them still wrapped up in their paper, and trim around 1 inch off from the ends of their exposed stems. Trim in a diagonal direction.

Then place the still wrapped up Tulips in water for at least an hour.

It’s the best feeling ever when you see your Tulips revived and upright. Preparing-Tulips-Little-Big-Bell Here are my Tulips after they have had a drink, all trimmed to the same length.

I have stripped off the bottom leaves and cleaned the stems ready for decorating. This is particularly important as submerged leaves will make the water cloudy.

Cleaning the soil and grit off the stems are also crucial when using a clear glass vase.
how to-feed-flowers-Little-Big-Bell You could just place your Tulips in room temperature water with some bought floral food.

If you don’t have floral food, then here’s a trick that I’ve learned on how to keep your Tulips healthy and longer lasting.

Cut flowers apparently like a slightly acidic water environment which helps with moving the water up the stem. They also need sugar as nutrient. So, adding some lemon-lime soda will do the trick.

Also, adding a bit of household bleach to the water will kill bacteria and keep the flowers healthy.

The formula is one part lemon-lime soda, three parts water and one teaspoonful of bleach per quart of water. Fill your vase with the concoction to around three quarters full. Grids-for-floral-decoration-by-Little-Big-Bell It’s difficult to style Tulips in a wide vase without them all leaning towards the rim.

So, here is a fail proof method of creating that florist styled, layered bouquet look in a large vase.

I have used narrow width Washi tape to create a grid system to keep the Tulips in position.

The wonderful thing about having this, is that it will prevent Tulips drooping further before they are due a water refill. Decorating-Tulips-in-a-vase-Little-Big-Bell Here I am slowly layering my Tulips in the vase. Starting from one end, then working my way round before going towards the centre. Tulips-arrangement-with-grids-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Here’s the view from above.

I have no particular rule on how the colours should go. You can of course alternate the colours. I love giving it that look of spontaneity. Colourful-Tulips-arrangement-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Here’s the finished product. So easy and fun to create.

You can no longer see the washi tape grid, as the Tulips have now covered over them.
How-to-style-and-look-after-Tulips-photo-1-and-styling-by-Geraldine-Tan-of-Little-Big-Bell Without detracting from the beauty of the flowers, I always like to keep the surrounding decor simple.

A few wooden birds to create that “Spring is here!” feel. How-to-decorate-with-Tulips-styling-and-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell So cute, right? Spring-Tulips-styled-by-Geraldine-Tan-of-Little-Big-Bell I’d love to be staring at those flowers all day too.

I’m also admiring the light green and very clean stems of the Tulips.

Water should be topped up every day and stems trimmed every 3 days. Styling-with-Tulips-Little-Big-Bell I couldn’t resist adding some colour too. That candle with its holder perfectly compliments the colour of the flowers.

Hope you have enjoyed the post. I certainly have had so much fun styling and photographing the Tulips.

Have a great start to your weeks.

( All styling and photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. All opinions are my own. This is a sponsored collaboration with Funny How Flowers Do That.)

  1. That is such a good idea with the washi tape – so simple, yet brilliantly effective. I’ll definitely be trying that. I must admit, I’ve not seen any tulips for sale yet, but love it when they start to appear in the garden.

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thank you Rachel, looking forward to hearing how the washi taping goes x

  2. Great tips and lovely pics – I shall certainly try the soda-bleach-water formula! I read somewhere that tulips continue to grow a couple of centimeters after you put them in your vase, so to keep them tied upright for a day or two (as they will be growing and bending in that time) and then cut the bottom couple of centimeters off, and they should stay upright. I’ve had success with doing this, but I think your grid taping is a much better idea! Thanks for such a lovely and informative post – it’s such a disappointment when a lovely bunch droops and does not last long!

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Kate. The wonders of Washi tape. I always keep a roll in my handbag 😉

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