Why Are My Tulips Dying In Vase? (Possible Problems+Solution)

Tulips will give your garden a beautiful splash of colors. If you want them inside your home, you can cut them and keep them in a vase. If you keep them in a vase then they can easily last for 7-10 days. But within these days, if they are not taken care of, they will keep dying.

If you are struggling to keep your tulips alive in your vase then this article is for you. Today we shall learn why are my tulips dying in a vase?

Tulips in a vase will last for 7-10 days. However, If they get excessive sun and heat, then your tulips are likely to die early. Bacterial infection and not changing the water are other causes of wilting in tulips. Trim the stem by 1cm and refresh the water every few days to keep your tulips fresh.

Grabbing a bunch of tulips for decorating the indoor space is always accessible and quick. But it’s not where your duty ends. You need to place them in the right location and take proper care to make the blooms last longer.

This article will discuss the reasons behind tulips dying in a vase and how you can revive them and make them last longer.

Tulip wilting 3

Why do my tulips keep dying in a vase?

Generally, tulips will die after 7 days. But in between this one week, if they droop or die, the problem is in their environmental conditions like excessive light, dirty water, bacterial infections, etc.

Don’t worry, as I will be discussing these reasons in detail for you to avoid the causes and increase the lifespan of tulips in a vase.

Direct sunlight

The growing conditions of tulips are quite different indoors than outdoors. Above that, in the vase, these are harvested tulips.

Harvested tulips will not perform any photosynthesis. In that case, they will not require much sunlight like outdoors or potted ones. Receiving direct sunlight will lead to droopy stems and sunburn. Gradually they will die.

Tulips are phototropic plants and will try to grow towards the light. So, when they change their position towards the light, don’t get tempted and turn them to the direct sun.

When this happens, you need to rotate the vase and ensure they are away from the direct sun. Exposing them to direct sun might reduce their lifespan.

Also read: How Much Sunlight Do Tulips Need? (Tulip Light Needs)

Exposure to heat

Tulip water 2

Tulips in a vase will like to stay in a cool surrounding, away from high temperatures. One action you can take to keep them from heat is not exposing them to direct sun. I already mentioned this in the previous point.

They should not be placed near any heaters or radiators. The hot air can scorch the leaves, damage the plant cells and kill them.

The Coldwater trick

Sometimes, when the tulips become droopy, some growers recommend a small trick to perk up the tulips.

They add icy water to the vase. This can perk up the tulips after some time, but they will not remain straight for long.

Even though this trick sometimes helps, giving icy water to cut tulips in a vase can reduce their lifespan. Due to this, they will die much before than expected.

You must always use room temperature water for tulips.

If you want to fix their droopiness, there are many other ways to solve it, like cutting stems, wrapping them in a newspaper, pinning them up, and many more. Try those instead of this trick.

Dirty vase and water

Tulips will like to remain in clean vase and water. A vase that is not clean will damage the health of tulips. The dirty vase will have a lot of fungus and bacteria, which can infect the tulips and kill them.

The water you use in the tulip vase needs to be changed regularly every few days. Tulips will enjoy lots of clean water, not dirty water.

If the water is not clean, they will get infected by bacteria due to dirty water. This can further kill the tulips.

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Bacterial infection

Tulips can have bacterial infections, reducing their lifespan and slowly killing them. The infections mostly happen due to a dirty vase or water.

One of the indications of bacterial infection is when the water fails to pass through the stems of cut tulips.

The water fails to pass into the tulips because there is already a bacterial infection. It has affected the open wound, the place where the stems are being cut.

Water issues

Tulip wilting 4

Tulips require a lot of clean water. Without a good amount of water, they will remain dehydrated. Tulips will love being hydrated and healthy. It will also extend the lifespan of vase tulips.

But being dehydrated, they will become droopy at first and eventually move towards death. You will need to add a good amount of water to the vase to keep the tulips alive. Also, use fresh water.

You will have to use room temperature water, neither very cold nor very hot.

In summers, the weather remains hot, and normal room temperature water may not keep them cool enough. In such conditions, you can add an ice cube to the water. This will help during hot climates.

Also read: How Often Do Tulips Need To Be Watered? (Tulip Watering Needs )

Tulips lifespan in a vase

When you find that the tulips are dying, it means it has been 10 days. In a vase, the tulips won’t remain alive for more than 10 days.

They are tulips cut from the primary bulb plants. So their lifespan is only up to 7 to 10 days.

Dead flowers

You need to select your tulips very carefully. If you choose flowers about to die, you will soon see all the tulips dying. When one flower dies, along with it, all other flowers that are still in a good state will die too.

So, along with it, all the tulips will start dying one by one. The dead flower will result in contamination and bacterial infections. This will get spread to other good flowers.

Mixing tulips narcissus family

This is not necessary to keep only tulips in a vase. You can add other flowers too. But you should make this selection thoughtfully.

Some people commit the mistake of adding tulips with narcissus families like the daffodils and jonquils.

These flowers tend to release a greasy sap which can shorten the lifespan of tulips and kill them before they naturally die.

How do you bring tulips back to life in a vase?

Tulip 3

With all the conditions, the tulips in a vase will keep dying. But with proper adjustments and resurrection treatments, you might help the cut tulips revive.

Clean your vase

Before you try detecting the root cause of dying tulips, you need to make sure that the vase is clean. A dirty vase is always the first reason behind a dying tulip.

This is because a dirty vase may have bacterial infections, affecting and killing those beautiful flowers.

The vase should be clean and free from all kinds of potential damages. When you see that the tulip petals fade and droop, it is the first sign that they are about to die.

Take them out and clean the vase. Fill the vase with hot water and dish wash soap and leave it for some minutes.

After some time, rinse the vase very well with normal water. Then add clean water and place the healthy tulips in it.

Cut the stems

Another reason tulips start dying is dehydration. It happens when you either don’t supply enough water or the water doesn’t enter the stems.

It happens because when you cut the tulips, the tissue inside it that is responsible for transporting water in the flower dies.

So, to let the tulips have water, you need to bypass this dead tissue blockage. You have to cut their stems.

Cut the stem 1 inch above at a 45-degree angle from its existing base. A blunt cut will not work. Use a sterilized scissor and make a clean cut.

Cutting with such an angle will allow the water to pass into the tulips properly, and the base will also not sit flat at the bottom of the vase.

Along with it, you have to cut the stems 1 cm each time while changing the water.

Tulip losing flower

Add plant food

Sugar is said to be the adrenaline for the cut flowers. Even plant food contains sugar. You can use regular sugar to help them fight back problems.

1 teaspoon of sugar or plant food with 1 quarter of water will revive back dying tulips and will also perk them up.

If 1 teaspoon doesn’t help, add another spoon of sugar after 2 to 3 hours. Dissolve the sugar in warm water before applying.

Add bleach to the water to kill the bacterial infections

Adding bleach may be surprising to hear. A dirty vase, dirty water, or open wounds in the stems can cause bacterial infections.

But bleach can help to get over the infections. You won’t have to add a lot of bleach, only 1 teaspoon.

It will work more when adding sugar or plant food to the water. As you will mix the bleach in 1 quarter of water along with plant food, it will get diluted and won’t harm your lovely tulips.

Quickly they will get rid of bacteria, and it will revive back to normal.

Remove the dead or dying leaves and flowers

If the tulip leaves or flowers are dying, remove them immediately.

The dead leaves and foliage can get contaminated and have bacterial infections. This can kill the other flowers and leaves which are in good condition.

Whenever you find any dying leaves or flowers, remove them quickly.

Keep them cool

Avoid exposing them to direct sun, heaters, ovens, and radiators. The cut flowers cannot photosynthesize. Therefore, they won’t require sunlight. Leaving them in a cool place will keep them fresh for longer.

If you live in a warm region, you can keep the flowers inside a refrigerator or add some ice cubes inside the vase.

Tips to keep tulips last longer in a vase

Tulip water

Tulips have always been everyone’s favorite flower due to various colors, varieties, and blooming times. With all kinds of tulips, you will fill your outdoor and indoor space with colors.

When you cut them for a vase, they behave a bit fussy. They will even die, especially if the previously mentioned situations take place.

Normally, tulips will long for 3 to 7 days. But they sometimes will die before that.

Although with little care and practice and following some tips, you can make the tulips last for many days. And in between, they won’t even droop, wilt or die.

Below, I have mentioned 7 tips that can assist you to keep the tulips healthy and fresh for a long time:

The first thing is to choose the right vase size. You need to select the vase that can cover the stems of the tulips, at least half of it. Clean it very well before use.

Clean and remove the dirt and sand present in the leaves and stems of the cut tulips.

For a cutting, cut the stems at an angle of 45 degrees. This will ensure the water passes well in the plant and the base doesn’t sit flat at the bottom of your vase.

Add clean, fresh, and excellent room temperature water. Tulips will love water.

You have to change this water every few days. Cut the stems around 1-2 cms when you change the water. It will keep them in shape and stop them from bending over.

Choose a spot that doesn’t get any direct sunlight. If they move towards the light, just rotate them. Don’t expose them to sunlight or heat.

If you want to combine tulips with other plants, avoid the narcissus family like the daffodils or jonquils. Choose flowers reasonably.

If the tulips are drooping anyways, pin them up or wrap them with newspaper to keep them straight.

Final thoughts

Tulips are stunning and fabulous flowers that can attract and fascinate any plant lover. Most people can get tempted to have them either indoors or outdoors.

Having cut tulips in a vase and keeping them fresh for a long time is not that tough. With proper care, attention, and daily practice, anyone can excel in it.

If you want to have them too, follow the tips I have mentioned, and you too can enjoy these stunning flowers in your house.

Source: Wikipedia.


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

2 thoughts on “Why Are My Tulips Dying In Vase? (Possible Problems+Solution)

  1. I have tulips in a vase where the tip of all the green leaves are drying up and are dark. The bulbs don’t open fully either but none of the flowers droop. They have clean water, stems have been cut twice in five days yet nothing seem to help. They are not in cold, or draft and have plenty of light without direct sunlight. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hey,
      thanks for reaching out but without looking at it, and with limited information its really difficult for me to diagnose it correctly. However, here is what i suspect.

      With the information provided to me, It sounds like your tulips may be suffering from a condition called “bent neck,” which is a common problem with cut tulips. Bent neck occurs when the stem of the tulip is unable to take up enough water, causing the tip of the stem to wilt and the leaves to turn dark and dry.

      There are several possible reasons why your tulips may be experiencing bent neck. One common cause is air bubbles in the stem, which can prevent the flow of water and nutrients to the flower. To prevent air bubbles, make sure to cut the stems at a sharp angle with a clean, sharp knife or scissors, and avoid crushing or bending the stems.

      Another possible cause of bent neck is bacterial growth in the water. To prevent bacterial growth, change the water in the vase every two to three days and add a few drops of bleach or hydrogen peroxide to the water to help kill any bacteria.

      Finally, it’s possible that your tulips may simply be reaching the end of their natural lifespan. Cut tulips typically last for about a week to ten days, so if your tulips have been in the vase for longer than that, it may be time to discard them and replace them with fresh flowers.

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