Arranging Tulips: Tips and Tricks for Beautiful Arrangements

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Master the Art of How to Arrange Tulips! Discover the secrets to creating stunning tulip flower arrangements in this comprehensive guide. Whether you’re a budding enthusiast or an experienced florist, learn the best practices for buying, choosing the right vase, and arranging tulips to enhance their beauty and longevity. Dive into a world of floral elegance and bring your tulip arrangements to life!

I can’t begin to count the amount of flower arrangements I’ve created in my lifetime. That’s why I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for creating easy, beautiful, and long-lasting tulip flower arrangements. Want to learn how to arrange tulips? You’re in the right place!

vase of tulips

As you might know, I’m a bit of a flower enthusiast. While I have no formal flower arranging training, I’ve been doing it for years and have even spent some time working in a flower shop.

While I’ve shared several flower arranging tips here (be sure to check out my ultimate flower arranging guide) on Inspired by Charm, I thought it might be helpful to create a post dedicated to tulips. They have some different requirements when it comes to arranging, so I put together all I know and I am happy to share it with you.

Let’s get into it!

open pink tulips

Where to Buy Tulips

First, you’re going to need some tulips. Here are my go-to sources:

  • Grocery Store: If you just need a dozen or two, I recommend picking them up at the grocery store. I particularly love them from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Most grocery stores stock tulips year-round.
  • Local Flower Shop: Your local flower shop is always a great source for beautiful blooms. You may tend to pay a bit more, but it’s always nice to support a local business. You could also ask if they have any leftover flowers or special deals on older blooms that you could take advantage of at a discounted rate.
  • PetalDriven: The tulips I’m using for this post are from PetalDriven. PetalDriven is a go-to for me when I need a lot of flowers. They offer direct (straight from the farm) wholesale flowers shipped directly to your door. You can save 10% on your order by using code “INSPIRED10” at checkout. They were kind enough to provide these beautiful parrot tulips for this post.
tulips on a table
pink parrot tulips

What’s the Best Vase?

For tulips, I really don’t think it matters too much. When I’m doing a flower arrangement I generally think it’s easier to work with a smaller opening. I think the same can be true for tulips, but because of their large thick leaves, you can get away with a larger opening.

One of my favorite things to use for any arrangement is a pitcher. They always seem to have the perfect size opening.

Here are a few other favorites:

vases fo tulips
vase of parrot tulips

Try a Tulipiere

And let’s not forget my all-time favorite: a tulipiere!

How do you arrange tulips in a tulip vase?

Have you ever heard of one of these magical “self-arranging” vases? If not, you’re in luck because I have an entire post dedicated to them. Consider it a mini crash course in tulipieres: what they are, how to use them, and my favorite ones.

tulipiere wtih tulips
tulipiere
Tulipiere - Flower Vase / Tulip Vase #tulipiere #vase #flowervase #tulips #tulipvase #flowerarranging #flowers #bouquet

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How to Arrange

Okay, with all of that information in your toolkit, I think we are ready to start arranging. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Start by removing your tulips from their packaging. Discard and recycle any paper or plastic.
four tulips
  1. Fill a clean vase about 1/3 full with room temperature water. Tulips tend to do best in shallow water.
  2. Next, you’ll want to remove some of the leaves from your stems. Personally, I only like to leave about 2 leaves (or sometimes even just one) on a stem, but you can do what you like. With that being said, one thing you want to avoid is having any leaves in the water. (This goes with any flower.) Leaves in water tend to rot which will significantly decrease the life of your arrangement and leave your water looking cloudy and smelling unpleasant.
removing leaves from tulips
  1. Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut off at least 1 inch of the tulip stem and then place it directly into the water. Cut each tulip stem and place it into the water as soon as you cut it. Generally speaking, I like to see the stem length about 1.75 times the height of the vase. This means that the length of the stem/flower sticking out of the vase should be about 3/4ths as tall as the vase.
tulips in a pitcher
  1. When placing the stems into the vase, I like to move around the vase rather than concentrating on one area at a time. I think this helps to create a fuller-looking arrangement. Plus, when you work this way, the stems almost create an interlocking grid helping to hold each other up.
arranging tulips
  1. Finally, refresh your tulips at least every other day if not daily. This means recutting the stems and changing the water.
vase of tulips

Tulip “Tricks”

There are a handful of tulip “tricks” when arranging them. If you’re particular with how you want your tulips to look, feel free to try these methods. I personally enjoy watching the tulips do their thing whatever that may be.

How do you arrange tulips so they don’t droop?

There are some hack for preventing your tulips from dropping including putting a penny or vodka in the water or inserting a pin through the stem below the head.

However, I found that just by cutting the stem, tulips will perk up and stand on their own. It’s part of their magic!

orange parrot tulips

Final Notes

  • Tulips don’t need the small packet of flower food that’s often provided with grocery store flowers. Save this for some other blooms.
  • Tulips will adjust and move in your vase. They almost arrange themselves as they settle in. They will also open towards the light. I recommend just letting them do their thing. They are beautiful at every stage of their life, even as they start to drop leaves.
  • If you’re not sure how long your stem should be, always go a little longer. You can always cut more off later if necessary.
  • If your vase feels a bit crowded, you can remove additional leaves.
pink tulips open arrangement

I hope you found this tulip arranging tutorial helpful and picked up a few tricks and tips along the way.
If you have more to add to the conversation, please let me know in the comments below.

More Flower Arranging Tips You May Enjoy

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vase of tulips

How to Arrange Tulips in A Vase

Tulips are so easy to arrange! Learn my best tips and tricks for creating easy, beautiful, and long-lasting tulip flower arrangements. 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Flower Arranging
Cuisine: American
Keyword: flower arranging, flowers, tulips
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1 arrangement

Equipment

  • 1 flower vase
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • fresh water

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch tulips

Instructions

  • Start by removing your tulips from their packaging. Discard and recycle any paper or plastic.
  • Fill a clean vase about 1/3 full with room temperature water. Tulips tend to do best in shallow water. 
  • Next, you’ll want to remove some of the leaves from your stems. Personally, I only like to leave about 2 leaves (or sometimes even just one) on a stem, but you can do what you like. With that being said, one thing you want to avoid is having any leaves in the water. (This goes with any flower.) Leaves in water tend to rot which will significantly decrease the life of your arrangement and leave your water looking cloudy and smelling unpleasant. 
  • Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut off at least 1 inch of the tulip stem and then place it directly into the water. Cut each tulip stem and place it into the water as soon as you cut it. Generally speaking, I like to see the stem length about 1.75 times the height of the vase. This means that the length of the stem/flower sticking out of the vase should be about 3/4ths as tall as the vase. 
  • When placing the stems into the vase, I like to move around the vase rather than concentrating on one area at a time. I think this helps to create a fuller-looking arrangement. Plus, when you work this way, the stems almost create an interlocking grid helping to hold each other up. 
  • Finally, refresh your tulips at least every other day if not daily. This means recutting the stems and changing the water. 

Notes

Tulips don’t need the small packet of flower food that’s often provided with grocery store flowers. Save this for some other blooms. 
Tulips will adjust and move in your vase. They almost arrange themselves as they settle in. They will also open towards the light. I recommend just letting them do their thing. They are beautiful at every stage of their life, even as they start to drop leaves. 
If you’re not sure how long your stem should be, always go a little longer. You can always cut more off later if necessary. 
If your vase feels a bit crowded, you can remove additional leaves. 

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25 Comments

  1. Hi Michael, I am wondering if you need a new best friend, cause I want it to be me! Love everything about your website! These tips and vases are awesome!

  2. Nothing says Spring more than tulips; I buy them as soon as I see them in stores. I love when they start drooping, just as you do. They are such a cheerful flower!
    Those parrot tulips are gorgeous!

      1. I didn’t know what you meant when you said you like to work around the vase instead of in one place. Please elaborate.
        Great article, I was pulling my hair out stressing over tulips. I bought 2 bundles a purple and hot pink the night before Mother’s day. At 1 am I gave up and let them do their thing as you say. I did think the store neglected to include the food I’m used seeing. I went with my gut feeling to remove some of the leaves. I made every flower the same length. I couldn’t get them like the looked in the store but they used rubber bands. Thank you very much for your help.

      2. Thank you! Basically turn the vase (or your body) as you work. Approach it from different angles instead of standing or working in just one place or one part of the vase. Hope that helps!

        xo Michael

  3. Thanks for the tips Michael! I am in charge of floral arrangements for a baby shower coming up so I had a question. When I buy tulips they are still “closed”. In order for them to be blooming and open for the shower, how long before the shower do you suggest that I buy them?

  4. Love this. Tulips are my favorite as they grow and curve. So carefree and whimsical!

    Now I want to host a party to use flowers from petaldriven. What a selection they have. Wow. Their tulips in this post are amazing. I tried planting these exact bulbs and found them all dug up before the first snow. Such a disappointment.

    Thanks for sharing that footed hurricane vase from crate and barrel too. What a versatile piece.

    1. Yeas, PetalDriven has a great selection. And such a bummer about your tulip bulbs. I planted some last fall. I’m hoping they survived. I do need to protect them from the deer before they start to come up.

      xo Michael

  5. Enjoyed your article about Tulips. This fall I planted a raised bed with a variety of tulips just for cutting .Now if I can keep the critters out of them I should have some beautiful bouquets for the house.I even have a tuliperre a friend who does pottery made for me.
    Outside I have,several large containers planted with Tulips to provide color on the porch and deck. I especially love yellow, white and apricot shades but all 🌷 are lovely. Thankyou for the hints for arranging these special flowers.

  6. How have I got to this age and never heard of a tulipiere?! I am TOTALLY adding one to my birthday list…
    Thanks for the tips and all the beautiful images too.

  7. tulip stems actually grow longer in the vase of water, so cutting them daily keeps them with firm not bendly, overgrown stems that develop if you leave them alone.

  8. I always buy tulips as soon as they are available right after the new year. They are so cheerful and Spring like. I too let my tulips “do their thing”; I love when they start to droop over the vase or pitcher. Currently have some in both the main bedroom and living room (yellow ones). Will be my go-to flowers for the next month or so