written by Marina Strong
diy tulip centerpiece
I love tulips! And, I know, I say that about a lot of flowers, but it’s okay to have lots of favorites, right?! But, there really is something special about these beautiful blooms. It probably goes all the way back to when I was seven, visiting family in Holland and taking a trip to the Tulips Gardens (aka. the Keukenhof). Imagine fields of richly colored tulips and fresh vibrant flowers for as far as your eye can see, well, at least my 7-year-old eyes. It truly is like a painting and so insanely beautiful!

Tulips are beautiful flowers with a sleek and clean appearance which makes them versatile and very popular in the wedding world. At FiftyFlowers, we carry several different varieties of tulips, including standard, parrot, fringe, french and double tulips to choose from. Tulips are unique in the fact that their petals and their sepals (the outer protective petals) are almost identical. In contrast, think of a rose, when in bud form the rose is covered in green sepals. When the rose blooms, the sepals peel back to reveal the rose petals, and the sepals remain at the base of the rose (usually four to five green leaf-like sepals).

FiftyFlowers Double Pink Tulips BloomingFiftyFlowers Double Pink Tulips Blooming
In the tulip, because the petals and the sepals are almost identical, they are called tepals, and they make up the bloom of the tulip. Tulips will open into a cup or star shape bloom to reveal six stamens and sometimes a darker or slightly different colored base. Another thing that makes tulips unique, is that when cut, they will continue to grow! There are also phototrophic, meaning they will follow the light, but we will discuss that later when I go over tulip care!

Two Ways to Arrange with Tulips

Here are two ways you can create centerpieces using tulips. Both projects were done by Janie Medley, of The Bride’s Cafe, and star gorgeous Parrot tulips from FiftyFlowers. You could use any tulip variety and color, including our farm mix pack. Both projects were photographed by the talented Tori of Marvelous Things Photography.

Keep on scrolling to learn how to create these two different types of centerpieces using tulips.

Red Parrot Tulip Centerpiece

Red Parrot Tulip CenterpieceRed Parrot Tulip Centerpiece
Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this look:

Red parrot tulips (or any tulip variety of your choice)
Sharp scissors or floral shears
Decorative can and a slightly small vase to fit within the can
Recreate this arrangement by following these steps:

1. Begin by placing the smaller vase (filled with water and your flower food) into your can.

2. Then begin adding your processed tulips, you may have to remove some of the excess greenery. Continue to add them until you’re satisfied with the fullness of your arrangement. Tip: Cutting the tulips at a slightly different length will create a free-flowing feel.

Apricot Orange Parrot Tulip Centerpiece

Apricot Orange Parrot Tulip CenterpieceApricot Orange Parrot Tulip Centerpiece
Here’s what you’ll need:

Parrot tulips or any other wholesale flowers from
A small compote (or anything you can find)
Sharp scissors or floral shears
Follow these step-by-step instructions:

1. First, fill your compote with a couple of inches of fresh, water.

2. Make a grid with the tape (the grid will help hold flowers in place and will work with any vase/bowl and any flowers!)

3. Remove any excess greenery and then cut off ½ inch (may need to cut off more depending on the size of bowl/vase).

4. Start placing your trimmed stems in between the grids until the top is completely filled. Rotate the vase to make sure you’ve filled out any empty spaces.

These centerpieces are easy to recreate! The first allows for more of a free-form design, while the second uses a tape grid to give the centerpiece a bit more structure. Both would be great for spring, Easter, or any time of year!

How to Care for Tulips

The ideal date to have your tulips delivered is three days prior to your event.

1. Remove flowers from box by cutting any straps. Do not remove the rubber bands holding the flowers together in a bunch.

2. Fill containers with at least 4 inches of fresh, cool water.

3. Cut the bottom of stems diagonally approximately at least and inch from bottom under running water with sharp scissors or knife. This will create a fresh surface to absorb water.

4. Immediately after cutting, place the stems in the prepared water. Please note that your tulips will continue to grow for about a day after they have been put in water.

5. Allow flowers at least 4 hours to hydrate well. However, it is best to wait at least 8 hours before arranging.

6. Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts or excessive heat.

7. Place tulips in a place with even light, or rotate frequently as tulips will turn to face the light.

8. Change water every 24 hours to keep flowers fresh. This will keep the water from becoming contaminated with bacteria that blocks the flower’s availability to absorb water. Assure that your flowers have sufficient water. The flowers will drink an exceptionally large amount of water upon arrival.

How to Prevent Drooping

Tulips have a natural bend to them, and although some like this natural look if you want your flowers to stand straighter, follow these tips.

1. Trim stem tips and roll the tulips in newspaper with the paper extending above the flower tops, but not covering the lower third of the stems.

2. Place them upright in water with a source of light directly above them. Tulip heads naturally follow the light, so placing a light directly above them will help to straighten a bent stem.

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