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Storing Tulips in the Fridge for Long Term Cut Flower Use

This year has been weird for a lot of reasons. In this, I’ve found myself experimenting with different ways to make my flowers last longer. It’s certainly no secret that florists and “real” flower farmers store their plants in the cool after harvest. For a lot of different cut flowers, cool temperatures will help to preserve the blooms until they are ready to be used. Since I have a dirty old fridge in my basement, I decided to plug it in and give my best effort to store some tulips. 

Check it out! I picked these orange tulips three weeks ago! After storing them in the fridge on the lowest setting, they completely opened in this buck after leaving them outside overnight. The color is still vibrant and beautiful, too. I’m so happy!

Here is another bucket of tulips that were moved to the fridge. You can seen that these definitely look more rough. I picked these at a different bloom stage and definitely did not do as well in storage.

As far as I can tell, the key to storing tulips related directly to picking them at the correct time. These are the orange tulips in the first picture. You can see that the buds have not started to open yet, however, the petals are fully colored and show signs of beginning to break open.

Here’s a closer look at the stage that I’ve had the best results with. Though tulips that have just opened will store for a couple days without much reduction in quality, I don’t suggest it.

My spare fridge has the tendency to drip water onto the flower stems. If I were to do this again, I would definitely wrap the stems in newspaper before storing them. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any.

Though I’m not entirely sure how the professionals do it, I removed any foliage that would be in water in the bucket. Also, don’t store your tulips with any food. This is strictly if you’ve got an old one that isn’t getting used. Overall, this is a super easy way to make the most of your tulip blooms. With such a short bloom season, I’m always looking for ways to make them last as long as possible.

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An awesome one-woman flower farm, cultivated by the love of all things pretty.

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