Tulips Open Too Much (And How to Keep Them From Opening)

Tulips are gorgeous flowering plants that are commonly grown in temperate climates. If you find your tulips opening at night, read our post and know the exact reasons behind it. Understand the phenomena of opening and closing of flowers and how you can fix the problem of tulips opening too much.

Understand the reasons behind why tulips open too much and what you can do to prevent the issue from our article.

Why are my Tulips Opening Too Much?

Usually, tulips open during the day and close at night. This behavior is called nyctinasty. They remain closed during the night to rest, protect pollen, reduce water loss, and conserve the plant’s energy to utilize it the next day. When sunlight reaches them, the petals become wide open during the day.

Three reasons why your tulips are opening too much:

  • Excessive heat
  • Excessive light
  • Overwatering and watering at night

When tulips open up on their own, it means they are ready to be pollinated. They open in sunlight to synthesize food and pollinate. But if your tulip blooms remain open during the night, it might be because of excessive watering and heat. The opening of blooms at night is a cause of concern and should be dealt with immediately. 

If tulips remain open at night, they are unable to protect the pollen and reproductive parts. This leads to a lack of pollination and no new flowers are produced. If you water tulips at night, it leads to overwatering and waterlogged soil conditions. 

Due to unused excessive water present in the soil, the plant roots suffocate and do not get enough oxygen. As a result, due to lack of oxygen, the flowers remain open and do not close. 

How To Keep Tulips from Opening So Much?

Avoid overwatering and exposing tulips to excessive heat and light to prevent them from opening so much. If your area has extreme weather conditions with very high temperatures, your flowers will open up more and will not be able to fully close at night. 

Do not water your tulip plants at night as it leads to waterlogged soil conditions and suffocates plant roots which further makes it difficult for the flowers to close at night. Another way to prevent tulips from opening so much is by controlling the amount of light they receive. 

Tulips are photonastic plants that move, open, and close their petals in the direction of light. As long as there is a bright light, the petals will remain open. If they keep receiving light even after sunset, the petals would not close.

So, if you have any artificial lights on after sunset, switch them off or move your tulip plants away at night. 

Do Tulips Open in the Morning and Close at Night?

Similar to other flowering plants such as daisies, geraniums, and morning glories, tulips open their petals in the morning and close their petals in the evening. This process of opening and closing of petals varies according to temperature, sunlight, and water. 

In full sun, tulip petals remain open and as the sun sets in, the petals begin to close. To keep your tulip flowers from opening at night, water them in the early morning, preferably before nine. Check the lighting after sunset and when it gets too hot outside, create a filter or move them to a cooler spot.


Is it Normal for Tulips To Open and Close?

It is normal for tulips to open during the day and close at night. Under normal circumstances, with normal heat and sunlight, the flowers open up for pollination and to produce food through photosynthesis. Sunlight helps them to perform the process of photosynthesis. 

The opening of petals indicates that the sleep time is over and tulips are ready to perform the daytime functions of photosynthesis and pollination. Birds and bees help in the process of pollination by sticking pollen to their bodies and transferring them to other flowers. 

Do Tulips Close Up at Night?

Tulips, like hibiscus and poppies, close at night. This behavior of tucking themselves for bedtime is called nyctinasty. In cool temperatures and dark, the outer petals grow faster than the inner petals covering them when the flowers shut. These flowering plants have evolved this way, they close at night and open in the morning. 

Tulips do not have high watering needs, unlike other flowering plants. Watering once a week with one inch of water works well to keep the soil evenly moist and the plant happy. But it does not mean that the plant will tolerate drought conditions for too long.

Why Do Tulips Need To Close Up at Night?

Tulip plants respond to heat and light with their petals folding at night and opening again in the morning. By closing their petals, the pollen and reproductive parts remain dry and protected from insects and moisture. Wet pollen reduces the chances of reproduction as the pollen becomes heavy and it becomes difficult for the insects to carry them. 

They open in the morning again for pollination. But they remain closed on cloudy days. The flowers open and close at different times according to the amount of heat and light available to them. They need to close at night to conserve energy by resting and to utilize the energy the next day for pollination and reproduction. 

Tulips adjust themselves according to the temperature and light they receive. Depending on the day and night cycles, the length of their opening and closing time changes. The signals inside the plant help it to naturally adjust its cycle and behave according to nyctinasty. 

Do Cut Tulips Close at Night?

The cut tulip flowers remain open during the day and close at night. If you are planning to keep cut tulips in your home, we recommend buying the ones that are just starting to open. The buds are slightly closed with the color of the flower being visible. This way, you can enjoy the blooms for a couple of days more. 

Cut tulips need a lot more water to last longer. You might notice cut flowers leaning and drooping in the vase. But do not worry, it is normal. Unlike most other plants, tulips continue growing even after being cut. The stems and flowers grow in an upward direction in search of light. 

You can add a flower preservative to make the cut tulips last longer in the vase. Ensure proper warmth and sufficient light during the day to ensure blooming during the day and make sure there is no artificial light at night so that they can close at night. 

How To Make Tulips Open Faster?

One very common trick used by most gardeners to make the flowers open and bloom faster is to cut the stems diagonally. Diagonal cutting ensures better and faster water absorption. Choose a long vase to keep cut tulips as it ensures that the stems do not collapse due to the weight of the buds.

Initially, after getting the flowers, use lukewarm water to open the buds faster. Avoid using water that is too warm or too cold as it will cause the blooms to droop. Put the cut flowers in a sunny spot for a while initially and they will start opening up. 

To open the tulips faster, remove the bottom leaves to prevent molding and to ensure the plant energy is focused on producing more blooms and fewer leaves. But in a bid to make the flowers open faster, do not go overboard with the light and water available to the plant. 

Another common method to open tulips faster is by placing a diffuser on the end of a blow dryer. Turn the heat on low and wave the diffuser over the flowers. This heat will trick the flowers into believing there is sunlight. Avoid overdoing heating with the diffuser and dryer as it can cause the flowers to wilt. 

Are Tulips Heliotropic or Photonastic?

You can call tulips heliotropic because they tend to move in the direction of sunlight and absorb the light for better photosynthesis. They twist, arch, and move to get light. Photonastic plants open and close as the light conditions change. These movements happen when the plant gets artificial light. 

Due to their photonastic behavior, tulips can conserve the warmth received from sunlight during the day and store it at night to keep warm. This energy gets wasted if the flower remains open at night. 


Tulips are perfect flowers to add to a garden in spring. Tulips not opening too much or not opening at all is a common issue faced by many gardeners. But you can solve it by ensuring proper growing conditions like proper warmth, light, and water for your plants. 

A healthy tulip will bloom during the day and close at night. Now that you know all about how tulip buds open and how you can prevent them from opening too much, bring those gorgeous blooms home or grow your own. 

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.