Why should you not pierce Tulip stems?

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What is piercing?

When discussing care and handling of Tulips this question always arises.  But what is it?

It is pinching a hole in the Tulip stem just under the bloom, with a needle or (safety) pin.

True or Myth?

Little research has been done on this Tulip piercing topic.  Sometimes there was an effect on bending, and piercing the stem was brought forward as being responsible for the reduction of this effect, but never consistently.

So why piercing?

One reason to pierce could be the formation of callus tissue on the cutting surface, which promotes stiffness of the stem and reduces the elongation of the stem.

A second reason behind piercing stems is to get rid of the so called air bubbles  in the stem.  This might be a problem when Tulip are put into tap water only.  In general we advise not to pierce the Tulip stems.  The risk of rotting outweighs the benefits.

What should you do?

  • Buy Tulip that have been treated with Chrysal BVB.  This treatment will make sure that enlogation is reduced enormously
  • Fill buckets with cold or pre-chilled water and Chrysal bulb food T-Bag, then add flowers
  • Buy Tulip that already show color.  Green Tulip will have difficulties to develop into nice flowers in the vase
  • Always (re)cut the stem before putting the flowers in the vase
  • Leave the Tulip in the sleeve and put them in a vase/bucket with water in a dark spot for a couple hours
  • Use Chrysal specialty cut flower food for Tulip or Chrysal bulb food.  This food will also reduce the browning of the leaf tips
  • Using a cut flower food, particularly the Chrysal specialties for bulbous flowers or Tulip cut flower food, will solve water uptake problems

For Chrysal Bulb Flower Food samples email: info@chrysalusa.com


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