For many floriculture adepts, tulips are the perfect cut flowers. You can sit and really watch the stems grow tall, the flowers open up and bloom in full splendor. It's an amazing sight, time after time to see how this bulb flower brings so much joy after a cold and dark Winter. The big question is how to keep this feeling as long as possible. These are the answers from Dutch top breeder and grower Borst Bloembollen and flower food specialist Chrysal.
Tulips Are the Heralds of Spring
The tulip season is something everyone looks forward to, knowingly or unknowingly. After a Winter with cold and rain, and more and more storms each year, we all long for the light. Longer days and some rays of sunshine to warm our bodies again. Tulips are the heralds of Spring, in many ways. Since tulips are grown both in greenhouses and outdoors the first ones can be seen on the market already from late January until mid-May.
Although the Netherlands is famous for its grey clouds, depicted by some of the world's best painters, the people really cheer up when colors re-appear again. Tulips bring immediate color to the room, in a bouquet of flowers or as a mono bunch. And one good thing about them is that there are so many colors, shapes, and varieties of tulips available: single or double-flowered, parrots, crown-shaped, or fringed. For years and years, tulips have been in the top three of the most popular flowers worldwide.
Tulipa Erna Lindgreen. Images by F-Studio, courtesy of iBulb.
Meaning of Tulips Flowers
Why are Tulips so immensely popular? Is it the symbolism of this flower? Perhaps, although be careful with this; pretty much each color has its own meaning. Every florist in the world probably knows by now that, although the Dutch show off their authority with tulip growing, this flower originates somewhere in the Turkish peninsula, where the word 'tulipa' is derived from the word and shape of a 'turban' - you know, that Turkish kind of headgear.
The flower became famous in a legend about rich prince Farhad and slum girl Shirin - in some versions, the roles are vice versa, so Shirin is a princess and Farhad the pauper. Anyway, the couple had an impossible love affair. You know how that went in those days. Anyway, long story short: the boy dies while not getting his prize girl. The girl takes her life and on the spot where the blood drops down red tulips start to grow as a symbol of their eternal love.
Images from the left: White vase with Tulipa Flair. Image by Wilfried Overwater, courtesy of iBulb. U-Formed blue vase with Tulipa Orange Sweet, Tulipa Ad Rem, Tulipa Flaming Parrot, Narcissus Grand Soleil d Or, Narcissus Bright Star, Baby Blue, Tulipa Ben van Zanten. Image by Wouter Koppen, courtesy of iBulb.
In general, tulips symbolize much more these days: fame, love, passion, the perfect lover, and romance, but each individual color holds special meanings as well. Check this list to be sure to send the right message:
- A mix or a variety of multiple colored tulips symbolize elegance and grace
- Red signifies true love and romance, as we saw in the Turkish tale
- Pink tulips meaning represents attachment and good wishes
- Purple tulips meaning refers to royalty and rebirth
- Yellow tulip flower meaning stands for cheerful thoughts and sunshine
- Orange represents fascination, happiness, and warmth
- White asks for forgiveness
- Those that are almost black in color represents the heart of a lover that’s fired with passion
- Even striped tulips have a meaning, representing beautiful eyes
So when it comes to sending a bouquet of gorgeous tulips or a mixed bouquet with tulips, let these meanings guide you. Knowing the meaning of tulip flowers perfectly expresses your sentiments from your knowledge of tulip facts when you send someone a bouquet. The next step is that the receiver also understands this, of course...
Tulipa Royal Ten, Tulipa La Romaine, Tulipa Match, Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or, Narcissus Trompet, Anemone coronaria. Image by Wouter Koppen, courtesy of iBulb.
How to Enjoy Your Tulips to the Max?
Keeping your tulips in great shape can be quite a challenge since the tulip is well known to grow faster than other flowers in a bouquet. To minimize this problem, let's ask some specialists for their professional tips and tricks.
Chrysal's Tips for Growers, Florists, and Consumers
Chrysal advises growers to treat tulips with Chrysal BVB & Plus. This is a post-harvest product specially for tulips. It prevents stem elongation, and reduces aging and leaf yellowing. This product is preferably used by growers directly after harvest. Chrysal BVB & Plus extends the vase life of flowers considerably through a better stem and flower quality.
The advice for florists is to always start with fresh, clean, cold tap water. The next step is to include a conditioner such as Chrysal Professional 2. This is very important for tulips because it allows for longer shelf life and ensures that the blooms develop well while preventing them from opening up too quickly.
Taking care of tulips Image courtesy of Chrysal.
The best way to enjoy your tulips for a long time in your home is to start by cutting the stem 2-3 cm with a clean, sharp knife or scissors. Then place the flowers in a clean vase with fresh water and use Chrysal Clear Tulipa or Chrysal Clear Bulbosus flower food in the correct dose. This will keep the leaves firm and green, the flowers will keep their beautiful colors better, and the tulips will last much longer. Place the flowers in a cool place and keep them away from sunlight and drafts.
Did you know that if the tulip stems are bent, you can just leave the tulips in a cool space for an hour after cutting the stems 2-3 cm? This will straighten up the stem again.
Tulipa Estella Rijnveld. Images by Wouter Koppen, courtesy of iBulb.
Menno Boots From Tulip Breeder and Grower Borst Bloembollen
Q: According to Chrysal, pre-treatment for growers with Chrysal BVB & Plus is recommended, because this reduces the growth of the stem and therefore extends shelf and vase life. What is your insight on this?
Menno Boots from breeder and grower Borst Bloembollen:
"By using Chrysal BVB & Plus, the leaf stays green longer, the stem stretches less and the tulips stay in the vase for about two days longer. We have done enough tests and every time you get confirmation that this is correct. We give it straight after bunching the tulips so that it is immediately absorbed into the plant. We regularly hear from customers that our tulips remain in the vase for around 10 days or sometimes even longer."
Menno Boots from Borst Bloembollen. Image courtesy of Borst Bloembollen.
Win-win With Tulips
There are 3,000 varieties of tulips to enjoy. It is impossible to try them all out, but you'll be feeling Spring in the air for sure no matter what color or shape you pick. Just remember that all the love and care that you give to the tulips you will get back from them. It's a win-win!
Tulipa Mixed. Image by Wilfried Overwater, courtesy of iBulb.
Header & feature images by Wouter Koppen, courtesy of iBulb.