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Care and Conditioning: Tulips

Tulip stems are prone to curving. Before arranging, roll the bunch in brown paper or newspaper and secure with twine; plunge the ends into cool water overnight. To arrange, start with a very clean vase. Fill it about one-third full with fresh, cool water; tulips last longer in shallow water. Add the included cut-flower food to the vase. Hold each stem next to your vase to gauge how much you'll need to trim. Using a sharp knife, cut stems at a 45-degree angle so they won't sit flat in the vase. Recondition your tulips daily: Recut the stems, change the water, and add nourishment. Use the extra pack of cut-flower food with your first change of water. Keep in a cool area; heat reduces bloom time. To nourish flowers after the food is used up, refill your vase with a solution of one teaspoon sugar and two drops liquid bleach per gallon of fresh water. Display in a cool room, out of direct sun and away from sources of heat and drafts.