A quick primer on floppy tulip syndrome just in time for Valentine’s Day

Don’t want your tulips flopping over in the vase? Here’s the quick skinny on what to do.

Buy good quality tulips – buds tightly closed, brightly colored, without any fraying on the edges.  Protect them from extreme cold or heat on the trip home. Don’t leave them sitting in the car while you’re running errands.

Add glass floral marbles and a couple of old copper pennies (prior to 1982) to the bottom of the vase. The marbles support the stems; the copper from the pennies, at least in theory, supports stem strength.

Arrange the tulips one by one, gently placing each stem within the support marbles.Cut at least 1-3 inches off the stems depending on the height of your vase. A short vase and tall tulips will guarantee flopping.

The tulips may look a little floppy at first, but should straighten up after a little time in the water.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Huffygirl: How to cure floppy tulip syndrome

© Huffygirl 2012

The most pressing conundrum of 2011?

When I started this blog two years ago, I was hoping to inform, and to  make people think and laugh. I wanted to discuss important issues, but not be so heavy and pedantic that reading this blog would be like doing homework. So I put in some important information on health, exercise, and how-tos, mixed in with some lighthearted satire, and smatterings of my own hapless struggles through life.

So did it work? Depends. People have come here over the past two years for laughter, and in some cases, for answers to pressing issues. And in my own  small way, I’ve been able to address what has turned out to be one of the most pressing conundrums of the twenty-first century. Something that has troubled, puzzled and bewildered people to the point that they’ve gone to the foremost expert on the topic, Google, to find the solution. And find it they did, right here.

So what is this issue, so important, so relevant, that has people worldwide confounded? It’s (drum roll) how to get tulips to stand up in a vase, also known as the solving the dreaded floppy tulip syndrome. Yes, not quite as impressive as curing cancer, but still a burning problem for many, and I’ve been able to solve it here. My work on earth is now complete.

So how do I know this? Thanks to the WordPress Stats Monkeys (their name for themselves, not mine) I have my finger on the pulse of what internet search terms have led people to Huffygirl’s Blog. At least once a day, often more,  someone searches on the terms “floppy tulips” “why do tulips flop over” “tulips won’t stand up in vase” “tulips flopping over” “tulips flopped over after cutting” “tulips flopping down” and so on. You’d think that political candidates would be promoting their floppy tulip policy, congresspersons would be passing laws against floppy tulips, and world summits would be convened to solve this pressing problem, as it clearly is an issue for many, that does not ever go away.

Tulip bouquet

So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and all the folks who ordered tulips instead of roses needing to know how to get these things to stand up in the vase and not look like they brought home cheap flowers, I am once again coming to the rescue. Take a look at my solution here, and more on this pressing problem soon.

© Huffygirl 2012

How to cure floppy tulip syndrome

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.