Why are my tulips drooping?

+78 votes
asked Apr 2, 2019 in Home & Garden by InesWexler20 (280 points)
edited May 9, 2019
My wonderful husband brought me tulips last week, which looked so lovely in their vase…until they all drooped, at which point my husband said what the point was in buying me flowers if I was just going to “kill them off anyway”. I feel a bit hard done by. I put the flowers in water straight away. But still, they drooped. My husband may never again buy me flowers because a bunch of tulips wilted! I told him it wasn’t my fault and asked him to buy me another bunch this week, to prove that I could keep flowers alive for more than a day…which brings me to my question: why are my tulips drooping?! And is there anything I can do to prevent it?

4 Answers

+10 votes
answered Jul 21, 2019 by Katherine (640 points)
edited Jul 30, 2019
When you buy cut tulips and put them into water, they keep growing (because they’re hardy little things). The problem is that as they grow, they get top-heavy and their weedy little stems can’t support their full, glorious heads. To slow down this process, just put a little bit of water in the vase (5 cm or less) and change the water every day. This should keep them looking fresh, without them drooping too quickly. Also, keep them out of direct sunlight.
+10 votes
answered Jul 23, 2019 by LoreneQxs924 (370 points)
edited Aug 3, 2019
There are a few things you can do if you are determined to keep your tulips from drooping. Start by making sure they’re properly nourished – if they come with a packet of flower food make sure you use it (if flower food isn’t included you can pick up a packet from your local florist). Then choose your vase carefully; something long and slim will provide additional support to the delicate stems (whereas something short and wide will put a lot of strain on the stalks). Then, re-cut the stems with a sharp knife about an inch from the bottom and remove any leaves that will below the water line (as these will cause your water to go slimy and grow bacteria which will kill your tulips quicker.
+3 votes
answered Jul 6, 2019 by MuoiBottomle (440 points)
edited Jul 19, 2019
I once asked my grandma “why are my tulips drooping” (she was a flower person), and grandma told me to put a penny in with a vase or tulips and this would stop them drooping. It never worked. More recently, a friend explained you have to use a penny made prior to 1981, as these have copper in them and it’s the copper that stops tulips from drooping. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you can find a pre-1981 penny then it’s worth a shot!
0 votes
answered Apr 8, 2019 by ArcherBrunni (190 points)
edited Apr 27, 2019
Leave your tulips in their wrapping for the first 5-6 hours (or overnight). This helps them maintain their shape during the first few hours when they are eagerly drinking up water. After that, remove the packaging and they should stay upright for longer. And don’t put the vase in the sun – apparently tulips will “follow” sunlight, causing them to droop. And if you’re really desperate, wrap thin wire up the stems of your tulips…then they’ll never droop!
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