Tips for Beautiful Tulip Arrangements

Get my easy tips for making beautiful tulip arrangements, and find out a simple trick that anyone can do to fix drooping tulips!

pink and white tulip arrangement 2023

How to Arrange Tulips

For some of us, the winter months can be long and dreary…but there are things we can do to brighten our spaces, and add color to our decor. This can be easily accomplished by simply picking up grocery store flowers, or visiting your local flower shop or florist.

Find the freshest bouquet that you can. There is nothing that can cheer up a room more than a bunch (or two) of fresh cut tulips. They come in a wide variety of colors, and make a gorgeous arrangement. Follow these simple steps for making long-lasting and beautiful tulip arrangements.

items needed for tulip arrangement 2023

Choose The Vessel

My favorite flower vessel for tulip arrangements is, hands down, an ironstone pitcher. The simplicity and texture just add to the beauty of the The stems of some flowers, especially tulips, can turn the water murky. This can happen after just a few hours, even when the water is still very fresh.

By choosing a vessel that is not a clear glass vase, this problem is not an issue. For tulips, it’s also important to choose a vessel with a round mouth. The bigger the mouth, the more the tulips will spread out, and possibly droop. A smaller mouth will keep the tulips gathered together, with straighter stems.

gathering tulips before arranging 2023

Separate and Gather the Tulips

Begin with a vessel filled with cool water, sharp scissors, and a large bunch of tulips. I bought one bunch of pink tulips and one bunch of white tulips, for a total of 20 stems. Separate the tulips and remove any damaged or large outer leaves. One at a time, gather the tulip stems in one hand, making sure the blooms are as even as possible.

tulips with neatly cut ends 2023

How to Cut Tulips

Holding tightly to the tulip stems with one hand, carefully cut all the stems evenly. I have large hands, and as you can see, it was all I could do to keep the tulips together. If you cannot get all the tulips in one bunch, it’s fine to make, and then cut, two bunches. Just make sure the stems of both bunches are the same length.

Tip #1: don’t cut the tulip stems too short the first time. It’s better to cut them too long, and trim again if necessary.

Tip #2: drop an ice cube in the water before you add the tulips. They love to be cool!

pink and white tulip arrangement in pitcher 2023

How To Put Tulips in a Vase or Pitcher

All at once, set the group of stems that you are holding in your hand into your vessel. Make sure the ends of the stems are all the way to the bottom of your vessel. Let go of the stems, and let the beautiful blooms fall naturally.

drooping tulip arrangement 2023

Tips + Tweaks

At this point, you can carefully remove and reinsert stems so the arrangement is balanced in size and color. Personally, I don’t worry too much about this. I don’t mind if there is a rogue tulip that sticks out too far…or if the colors are a little off. You can have beautiful arrangements without going for perfection. As you can see in the picture of the flowers below, the tulips all immediately drooped. I love this look, but if you prefer your tulips upright, read on!

pink and white tulips drooping in pitcher 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Tulips Droop?

Your tulip arrangement can droop for several reasons. The most common reason is not enough fresh water, but they can also be affected by too much light, a room that’s too warm, or stems that are weak.

How To Keep Tulips From Drooping

This blog is not really known for dramatic before and afters…so I am thrilled to be able to share this one with you! You can see in the image above that the tulips are lovely, but totally drooping. I took the step-by-step pictures above on a cloudy day, in the afternoon. That night, before I went to bed, I cut off two more inches from the ends of the tulips, and dropped two pennies in the pitcher. When I got up in the morning, the image below shows you what happened.

tall pink and white tulips in pitcher 2023

I learned about this trick last year when I posted a picture of some drooping tulips on Instagram. There were several comments advising me to put a penny in the water. Evidently the copper from the penny is what makes the tulip stems stand tall. I have to admit that I was slightly shocked that it worked!

built in bookcase with pitchers 2023

How to Make Tulips Last Longer

  • give them fresh, cool water every day
  • trim the ends so the stems can absorb more water
  • keep them away from bright windows and lamps
  • display them in a cool room if possible
tulip arrangement on shelf 2023
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40 Comments

  1. I love tulips and m only complaint is that they droop so easily. Now Ive got to try this tip. Thank you so much!

  2. Thanks so much for the tip. I actually just bought a bunch of tulips!

  3. Carolyn Verity says:

    Thank you for the penny trick I am going to try that for sure I get so much good information from you! thank you so much!

  4. Thanks for another great tip…I always enjoy your posts.🧐

  5. Great tip. I didn’t know about the penny trick. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Julie Harris says:

    5 stars
    Copper Pennies, I absolutely love tulips and cut as suggested.. and will definitely add a penny to my drooping tulips. Your a classy lady & a top fan of your blog. Keep doing what your doing, it’s working!

  7. I love tulips and had never heard this tip before. I’m definitely going to try it. Thank you.

  8. Tulips are the only flower that keeps growing after you cut them, that’s why they droop. That’s what makes them graceful and beautiful, like weeping willow trees. The only time they are naturally straight is in the ground.

  9. The tulips are beautiful, convinced me to purchase a bouquet of fresh flowers while I was out,
    I also have various stoneware vessels, so will use these
    Thanks for the ideas.

    Karla

  10. Christine Reid says:

    Great idea Ann! This solution is more difficult for us here in Canada as we no longer use pennies. I’ll have to dig around and see if I can find some hiding in a pocket or drawer. Lol.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Christine…one of my readers left a comment that a little bit of Sprite in the water works too. Maybe try that?

      1. Christine Reid says:

        Thanks, I will try that. (We DO have Sprite here.) 😃

      2. Carol Audette says:

        5 stars
        Tulips are my all time favorite cut flower to place in a vase. I personally can’t wait for them to droop. It’s like they are talking to me and making me smile. It is amazing that a Penny can make them stand at attention though. Great idea but I will still continue to the them drooping. Love your blog!

    2. Go to a craft store and buy a little copper wire

  11. ❤️❤️❤️ your ideas. Thanks for sharing and all the beautiful pictures we can download and print!🌺

  12. What a wonderful trick. I had no Idea. Thanks for sharing. By the way the pitcher is beautiful.

  13. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    I am jut blown away by the penny trick! I owned a florist for 20+ years and what I would have given to know this! I can’t wait to grab some tulips and drop a penny in the pot! Thanks a bunch 🌷🌷🌷💐.

  14. Love, love, love your blog Ann!!! What a beautiful arrangement and thank you for the great penny tip! I look forward to next week’s blog. Have a great week!

  15. Love the drooping tulips-don’t even remotely like the stiff upright look. To each his own I guess. Columbus has the same grey day! It’s February friends-how long can it last??!!

  16. I loved this tip! Thanx!

  17. Thanks Ann for the tip!
    I love fresh cut tulips and have struggled with them drooping too. My solution was to cut them off shorter and shorter until they barely cleared my case!? Can’t wait to buy some tulips.

  18. If you want perky stand up tulips all you have to do is take a pin or needle and put i through the stem JUST BELOW the flower head. Don’t know why this works, but it does.

    1. This does work! I was told to do this by a florist and I have followed her suggestion.

  19. OMG I am totally blown away by this! I’ve never heard that. Now I can’t wait to try it. Also love your pitcher and the perfect pink color in your tulips… :-)

  20. Wow! Never knew that about tulips. I love them but sometimes would like them less droopy. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Brenda Armstrong says:

    GREAT tip on tulips. Old dogs can learn new tips. Thanks.

  22. Carol@BlueskyatHome says:

    Great idea, Ann, about the pennies. I wonder if it works on hydrangeas? Pinned so I do t forget.

  23. I love tulips, they look beautiful in the pitcher.Good tip about the penny,I will have to try it.

  24. Good morning Ann! Love those tulips in your white vase! Pretty amazing how the tulips ‘perked up’ after trimming & adding the pennies. I’ve heard of that trick before and will try it. Wondering where do you get your lovely stone ware dishes, pitchers, etc? Are they the Lennox brand? I took a look at Amazon, they are a few out there, but not as pretty as yours. Thank you, as always, for your wonderful ideas & tips! Always look forward to your posts!

  25. Christine says:

    Great tip! I’ve never tried that before, but will give it a shot this spring! Tulips do look lovey in your white pitcher!

  26. Wow! What an awesome trick! I had no idea…thank you for sharing this. Definitely going to be trying this little tip for some Spring decorating!

  27. Wow! Great photo proof there! I worked for a florist in my youth 😊 and we always put a few pennies in the tulip buckets.

  28. I love droopy tulips! But may try the penny trick as well. Think I’ll add tulips to my grocery list this week. :)

  29. I’ve heard about the penny trick but never tried it. With your luck, I’m going to give it a go. I need some tulips to brighten my day!!

  30. Charmaine says:

    I love tulips and will definitely try the penny trick next time! I wonder if it would work as well for other flowers that tend to droop?

  31. White tulips in the spring are my favorite for in the house! I will definitely try the penny tip! And alstroemerias are my other go to flowers, as they last so long. They can look lovely for almost two weeks! I would take these over roses any day!

    1. Jagersvrouw says:

      I NEVER put them straight in a vase at room temperature but leave them overnight in a cool dark place in any sort waterfilled container preferably wrapped in watersoaked newspaper. After that I cut off large part of the tulip stems so that they can grow while in the vase and won’t droop.
      If you take out the tulips after they have settled to cut the stem again I find the ‘arrangement’ loses its shape.

  32. What a great tip and pretty tulips that add so much beauty to a space!

    1. Sue Davis says:

      Also try adding a little bit of Sprite to the water….works well..too!