The temperature outside merits short sleeves, there is no danger of a snowstorm, there is still some daylight left when you leave work…spring has finally sprung! Don’t you love noticing the birds chirping a little louder, seeing the brightest lime green buds on the maple trees or finally seeing some colour in your garden?

Tulips are the quintessential spring flower; if you didn’t plant any spring bulbs this past fall, you can still enjoy them as a cut flower from your local florist. Tulips are the most popular & readily available type of spring cut flowers, they come in a wide variety of colours and are an inexpensive way to bring a bit of spring inside your home.Tulips aren’t only available in the spring – at Brooklin Floral & Garden
Shoppe, we carry them through fall & winter too but they are quite hard to get during the summer months. (Note to brides – don’t get your heart set on tulips in August!)

Although tulips (and many spring flowers) are known to be short-lived, there are some steps you can take to maximize their vase life. These are general steps that can be used for most cut flowers, not just tulips.Start off with a clean container, preferably one that has been sanitized – just wash with a bit of bleach or run it through the dishwasher. Then remove any leaves that will be below the water line – decomposing leaves lead to more bacteria & flowers need clean water. Next, give the stems a fresh cut using a sharp knife – don’t use your dull kitchen scissors – they will crush the stem, making it hard for the flower to “drink” & it can damage the stem making it more susceptible to bacteria. Cut on an angle as this will give the most surface area for the flower to drink & also prevents
the stem from sitting directly on the bottom of your container (again making it hard for the flower to take up water). Follow the instructions on the enclosed packet of flower food, mixing with cool water in the ratio stated. Florists hear many stories about what to add to the water you are placing your flowers in, everything from aspirin to sugar to Sprite to gin but none of these folk remedies are as effective as the commercial flower food packets. If you don’t have any of the packets on hand it is actually better to just use plain cool water. The powder contains a nutrient for the flowers, a ph balancer for the water & an anti-bacterial agent, all in correctly measured amounts, perfect for your cut flowers. If you are interested in seeing how roses placed in a mixture of these folk remedies compare against Floralife (a brand name of flower preservative) check out the results of a test done at last year’s Floriade in Holland -
floralifelive.com. Try to keep your vase of flowers in a cool spot as heat will force the blooms to open more quickly & preferably out of direct sunlight.Keep giving your flowers a fresh cut every 2-3 days, top up or change the water as needed & you should have flowers that last more than just a week.

Tulip Trivia:
Tulips are one of the few flowers that will continue to grow after being cut (up to 3 inches). They will naturally curve or twist over the top of your container but if you prefer your tulips to stand up straight in your vase you can wrap them in a cylinder of newspaper overnight.
Some of the staff at Brooklin Floral were at a floral seminar recently where a grower spoke about different types of cut flowers & how they grow in greenhouses. We learned that most of our cut tulips start with bulbs that have spent 2 years growing in soil in Holland and are then shipped to Canada; after growing here for a year the blooms are cut and the bulbs are not used again. Holland produces over 3 billion tulip bulbs a year!The American Floral Marketing Council conducted a survey back in 2002 on preference of tulip colour by men & women and found that men prefered red & yellow, while women chose purple & pink tones.

Now that you know a little bit more about tulips and how to care for them, pop into Brooklin Floral & Garden Shoppe for a bunch – we usually have them on special for $9.99 for 10 stems!

Blog brought to you by: Brooklin Floral & Garden Shoppe Inc. 905-655-4424, www.brooklinfloral.ca