HuffyHow: How to Cure Floppy Tulip Syndrome


Marbles support stems.

Marbles support each stem.

Finally. The answer to what has plagued personkind for decades. You’ve all had this happen I’m sure: you buy a beautiful bouquet of tulips, bring them home, put them in a vase, and voilà – they promptly flop over. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to fix this? I’ve analyzed this situation thoroughly, although at great personal cost, as I’ve had to invest in several tulip bouquets and suffer having tulip bouquets in my house. I’ve finally concluded that the “floppy tulip” syndrome” is a result of a combination of factors:

1. Tulips with especially large blossoms.

2. Tulips too tall to be supported by the vase.

3. Lack of stem support within the vase.

4. Tulips past their prime – as the tulips get older, they start to break down and the stems become weak.

So, here’s the HuffyHow solution to floppy tulip syndrome.

1. When buying tulips, look for bunches with small compact blossoms, fresh-looking green stems, and tightly closed buds. Avoid tulips that show any fraying on the blossom edges – these are likely on their way out. It’s more about the quality and freshness of the bouquet than where you buy them. Some of my best performing tulips have been the $5-6 bunches from the grocery store.

2. Carry the tulips home carefully and get them into water as soon as possible. Don’t leave them in the car while you run 20 more errands, especially on a warm day.

3. Find a vase with a broad bottom and tall enough to give some support to the tulips. I’ve got a rectangular one that works great. Fill your vase with about 1.5 to 2 inches of glass marbles (sold in flower shops and in the flower departments of craft and grocery stores.) I add a few old pennies, as I’ve heard that the copper aids stem strength, although I have no clue as to the validity of this thesis. I guess pennies are optional, or maybe I need to do another study.

4. Use sharp scissors to trim your tulip stems at least 1.5 to 2 inches, depending on the height of your vase, and more if your vase is very short.

5. Arrange the tulips in the vase placing them in one at a time, carefully inserting the stems into the marbles. Don’t just slam the whole bouquet into the vase – make sure each stem is supported by the marbles.

6. Enjoy your lovely tulip bouquet. As the bouquet ages, the tulips will start to flop over a bit, but you should have at least 4-6 days of a beautiful, upright bouquet.

7. An extra tip for men: Use these steps to surprise your sweetie and have a great-looking tulip bouquet waiting in a vase when she gets home. She’ll be impressed and think you spent a lot of money at the florist. Nothing bad can come from surprising your partner with flowers.

Success! Floppy tulip syndrome solved at last!

Tulip bouquet

A beautiful upright tulip bouquet.