How to pick a tulip at the festival: No need to bring scissors but do bring a bucket. Simply grasp the stem as close to the ground as possible and pull straight up. This ensures a long stem. If you pull further up the stem could snap leaving you with a short tulip or worse just the flower. Don't worry if the bulb comes out of the ground with it. Try not to leave your flowers in the sun for too long especially mid-day. Keep them in a bucket of water for the drive home to ensure freshness.
Can I re-use the bulb in my own garden? The answer is unfortunately no. Because you are pulling it out of the ground before it has had a chance for photosynthesis to grow a new baby bulb the new bulb won't be strong enough to survive or produce a flower. Bulbs need to stay in the ground after they have been cut or deadheaded until their leaves have died and turn brown (That's June/July in New York).
How to keep your cut flowers blooming as long as possible: Pick early or later in the day when the sun isn't as hot. Put them in water right away and keep out of the hot sun. Don't leave them in your car with the windows up. When you get them home indirect sunlight will keep them lasting longer versus direct. Tulips drink a ton of water so check the water level daily and change it if it gets cloudy. Adding flower food will not prolong the blooming time of a tulip but a few ice-cubes to the water will. They also continue to grow after they are cut and are one of the few flowers that do this.
Oops, my tulips ran out of water and are droopy, can they be saved? Yes, well as long is it wasn't for a couple days! Tulips are very hardy, get them fresh water right away and out of direct sunlight. They should perk up within a few hours and look as good as new by the next day.
For bulb planting tips visit our website www.ecotulips.com