How to Make Tulip Flowers Last Longer

Tulips are stunning flowers but unfortunately they only bloom for a short time each spring.

How long the flowers last will depend on the climate, growing conditions and the type of bulb.

In this article I’ll tell you how to extend the bloom time of your tulips so you get to enjoy the beautiful flowers in your garden for longer.

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tulip flowers

How long do tulip flowers last in the garden?

Tulips are one of the most popular flower bulbs but their short bloom time means the flowers may only last a couple of weeks.

In areas with mild spring temperatures between 50 to 59 °F (10 to 15 °C) tulips will bloom for two to four weeks but in warmer climates the flowers will fade faster.

How to extend tulips bloom time

If you’re planting some new tulip bulbs in your garden it’s a good idea to plant a mix of early, mid-season and late-blooming varieties.

Mix the bulbs together before planting so you’ll have a beautiful display of tulips from early spring until late in the season.

As the early varieties start to fade you’ll have new flowers opening up to take their place.

yellow tulips

Early blooming tulips

  • Emperor tulips
  • Double early
  • Single early

Mid season tulips

  • Viridiflora tulips
  • Triumph tulips

Late blooming tulips

  • Single late tulips
  • Double late tulips
  • Lily-flowered tulips [1]

colorful tulip flowers

Soil 

Preparing the soil before planting the bulbs will help to improve the quality and longevity of your tulip flowers.

Select a spot in the garden that receives full sun during the spring months.

Dig some aged compost into the top layer of the soil to help improve drainage.

Temperature

Tulips are native to Turkey and Central Asia, so they’re able to withstand cold temperatures and they actually need an extended period of cold temperatures over winter to enable them to flower.

If you live in a warmer climate you’ll need to place your bulbs in the refrigerator for about six weeks before planting.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing tulips will help to produce large, longer lasting flowers.

The best time to fertilize tulips is in the fall because this gives the plants plenty of time to absorb the nutrients before they begin to bloom.

If you leave it until spring to fertilize it’ll be too late.

I like to use a fertilizer specifically made for bulbs like Bulb-tone flower food for best results.

striped tulip flowers

How long do potted tulip flowers last?

Tulips planted in containers will bloom for 15 to 30 days as long as they’re situated in a sunny spot and receive plenty of water because the pots can dry out quickly in full sun.

Use a high quality potting mix and add some fertilizer to the soil at the time of planting.

How long do tulips last as cut flowers? 

Tulips look beautiful in a floral arrangement, either on their own or combined with other flowers like daffodils, hyacinths or crocuses. 

Cut the flowers just as they’re starting to open and place them in a vase of cold water away from direct sunlight.

The flowers should last for about 5 days in a vase but you can make them last a bit longer by trimming the stems and changing the water in the vase each day.

tulip flowers in a vase

Do tulips need to be deadheaded?

Removing the spent flowers, known as deadheading, helps to keep the plants looking tidy and helps to focus the plant’s energy on the bulb.

To deadhead tulips, gently remove the withered flower but leave the foliage in place.

The leaves will absorb energy until they begin to turn brown.

After the leaves have died off you can remove them and dig up the bulb for storage or leave it in the ground for next year.

Bulbs in pot

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So there are my tips for getting tulip flowers to last longer.

Tulips are one of my favorite spring flowers and by choosing a mix of bulbs you can spread out the bloom time for up to four weeks.

How long do your tulip flowers last? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Flower Gardens and Gardening Tips that you may find helpful. You can also find me on Facebook.

tulips bloom longer

Kelly Taylor

Hi, I'm Kelly Taylor. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

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