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Philadelphia Flower Show: What happens to the flowers after the show?

What does one do with 30,000 tulips?

What happens to all of the flowers after the Philadelphia Flower Show?
Photo by Melissa Romero

It always feels a little gloomy whenever the Philadelphia Flower Show comes to an end. The flower withdrawal is especially apparent this year, which brought a winter snowstorm to the city the same week of the tulip-studded event.

This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, which celebrated the flowers of Holland, came out in a big way, planting more bulbs than ever before. The Entrance Garden alone had 6,000 blooms hanging from the ceiling, and there were some 30,000 bulbs planted throughout the show.

That’s a whole lot of flowers. So that had us wondering: What does one exactly do with thousands of tulips when the show’s over?

It’s a bit of this, a bit of that, but there’s a good chance that you’ll see remnants of the show’s flowers and exhibits reused throughout the city in the future.

Some flowers from the Entrance Garden will be sold to PHS members.

“PHS repurposes, recycles, and transplants as much of the Flower Show exhibits as possible,” PHS spokesperson Alan Jaffe explained to Curbed Philly in an e-mail.

In fact, a lot of the plants from the epic Entrance Garden will be part of a special sale for PHS members on Saturday, March 25 at Meadowbrook Farm in Jenkintown.

Some elements of the exhibit may be used in this year’s PHS pop-up beer gardens and sites, which in years past have included one at the foot of the Rail Park and another at 15th and South.

And then some of the landscape and floral exhibitors will bring their own trees, shrubs, and perennials back to their respective businesses to sell them or use them in their own work.

Anything that can’t be re-purposed is composted by the PHS, Jaffe said.

So there you have it. And don’t forget: Even though the show is over at the Convention Center, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be lined with more colorful tulips this spring. Last fall, the PHS and volunteers planted 20,000 tulip bulbs along the parkway ahead of the Flower Show.

Meanwhile, next year’s theme and dates have already been announced: Wonders of Water will run from March 3 to 11, 2018.