Cut tulips should be cared for in a manner similar to all cut flowers for longer vase life and lasting beauty. Any leaves below the water line in a vase should be removed, as they will rot and add bacteria to the vase water.
Cut flowers need constant water flow, as they can dry out quickly and die if not properly maintained. Ensuring good water flow up the stem is key to extending the life of cut tulips.
Bacteria can form in the water and gather at the bottom of the cut stem. This blocks water flow and shortens bloom and stem life. A commercial cut flower food contains ingredients that help destroy or discourage the growth of bacteria.
Bacteria also cause vase water to emit an unpleasant odor. Changing vase water every two days, re-cutting the bottom of the stem, removing leaves touching the water and adding a new dose of flower food will help keep the water clear and clean.