Tulips - celebrating Spring

Tulips are a romantic flower whose name means ‘fame’. Although they are quite commonly associated with the Dutch, Tulips did not originate in the Netherlands, but are native to Turkey and surrounding areas. The name ‘tulip’ originates from the Turkish word for ‘turban’.


Although it is unknown who brought the first tulip to Europe, it is widely accepted that the tulip was first introduced in Vienna in 1544 by O de Busbecq, the Austrian Ambassador to the Sultan of Turkey. From there, tulips were embraced by the Dutch with great passion, and they became all the rage in Europe.

Tulips come in many different forms, including single, double, lily-flowered, fringed, viridiflora and parrot. They come in a variety of colours, such as white, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, pink, brown, apricot and black.


Tulips should be chosen with great care – choose stems with closed buds displaying a good flush of colour. The flowers should be on upright stems and leaves should be firm and squeaky to the touch.

Tulips, being a focal flower, look wonderful both on their own as well as with other flowers. When arranging, be sure to leave plenty of space around the flowers because they grow in the vase. Tulips can grow up to 20cm from the time they are picked to the end of their cut flower life span. Take this into consideration when creating arrangements. A footed container will lift up the plants, allowing the stems to dangle so that you can make the most of their growing stems.


·       Cut or purchase tulips when in bud and showing colour

·       Avoid bunches with foliage that is damaged, yellowing or have transparent, discoloured or weak edges on the buds

·       Recut 2-3 centimetres from the stem ends and place into water

·       Remove any leaves that will sit below the water line

·       Do not use preservative in the water

·       Tulips are directional and will move toward the light, and will continue to grow as cut flowers

FlowersShana Rogers