How To Keep Tulips Alive In 3 Simple Steps

03/13/2015 01:31 pm ET | Updated Mar 13, 2015

Flowers are fickle. Even "sturdy" varieties like tulips, which you're liable to find everywhere this time of year, can start drooping long before the 10 days they're supposed to last.

Provided you've got a fresh batch to begin with -- and you really aren't a black thumb -- keeping tulips fresh is simple. Trim 1/4-inch from the base of the stems, make sure you've got the right vase and follow these three tips from Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

  • Don't use too much water.
    Copyright Anna Nemoy(Xaomena) via Getty Images
    Unlike with most flowers, use a small amount of water in the vase, Garten recommends. Otherwise, the tulips continue to grow and they'll bend over and break.
  • Don't re-cut the stems...
    Marlene Ford via Getty Images
    ...or change the water. "That will make them droop," Garten says.
  • Put a splash of bleach in the water.
    Gabriela Tulian via Getty Images
    That'll keep the water clear and give you fresh, beautiful tulips for an entire week.

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