Tulip Picking 101

Tulip Tips:

  • No need to bring scissors but do BYOB (bring your own bucket) and have some water in the car for the ride home.
  • We will provide buckets if you forget yours however, due to COVID-19 we want to minimize any unnecessary touch points. 

How to pick a tulip (also see our video above!)

  • 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 when you pull it up. You can snap it off and leave it in a designated bucket at the farm.   
  • We know that despite our explanations, folks will still try to take the bulbs home thinking they can plant them. They are coming out of the ground too soon to produce a flower next year. It can take several years to get a flower.
  • Please, whatever you do, do not put the flower back in the ground because you were trying to get the bulb too, and failed. Yes this happens and they will die, which creates a financial loss for us. You can pre-purchase bulbs onsite or via our online store. 

Caring for your Tulips at Home

  • Don't leave your flowers in the sun for too long, especially mid-day because they will wilt. Luckily they just need some water to perk up.
  • Keep them in a bucket of water for the drive home to ensure freshness.
  • BYOW- bring your own water. We will try to have some onsite but cannot guarantee that if we do, that we won't run out. It is also another touch point we would like to avoid.  
  • When you get them home, cut the stems straight across with a clean knife and give them plenty of fresh water. Throw in a couple ice cubes and keep them out of direct sunlight to slow the bloom.
  • Check water daily and refill if cloudy. 

Here are a few more details on some of our most asked questions: 

What if I picked too many or my child picked a bunch of flower heads with no stems? We put a lot of hard work, effort and money into this event and wasted or discarded tulips hurt our business. Only pick what you are willing to pay for and if your child picks a bunch of flower heads we ask that you pay for them (honor system). Our unique field grown tulips would retail for $2-3 a stem and we want to continue to be able to provide them to you for only a $1.00 per stem.

Picked the wrong tulip? Please do not try to put them back in the hole you picked it from, tulips will die if they are stuck back in the hole once their roots are disturbed.  Also, please do not leave them on the ground or hidden amongst the other tulips; dead tulips left on the ground can cause disease and damage our flowers and bulbs. Thank you in advance for your help with this and keeping everything clean and tidy.

Can I re-use the bulb in my own garden? Unfortunately, the answer is no for two reasons. The first reason is that we are using them for our planting stock. The second reason is that if you are pulling the bulb out of the ground before it has had a chance for photosynthesis to grow a new baby bulb, then the new bulb won't be strong enough to survive or produce a flower. It can take us two to three years of replanting to get a big enough bulb to produce a flower. Bulbs need to stay in the ground after they have been cut or deadheaded and until their leaves have died (June/July in New England).

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 a hot car. When you get them home, tulips will do best with indirect or no sunlight and the cooler it is the longer theylast. 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 added to the water will. They also continue to grow after they are cut and are one of the few flowers that do this. When you get them home from the farm keep the paper on if they are a little droopy, place them in water overnight, then take the paper off the next day.

Oops, my tulips ran out of water and are droopy, can they be saved? Yes, well, as long as 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.