Practical Guide To Keeping Flowers Fresh For Longer

Why Bloom Care Makes All The Difference

There’s nothing like a bouquet of flowers to lighten your mood and liven up your home! Plus, it’s also among the most precious and heartwarming gifts we can receive on special occasions.

Sadly, we all know that blooms don’t last forever. But with a little effort and a good deal of TLC, you can keep your dear blossoms fresh and blooming for longer!

We’ve created a simple guideline to help you maintain your beloved flowers’ vibrance for a longer time. Enjoy your beautiful bouquet to the fullest by following these simple steps!

If you’re interested in a formal course or want to get certified as an expert on all things about flowers, we recommend looking into professional bodies and colleges in gardening and floristry such as the American Institute of Floral Designers of the AIFD (www.aifd.org), the American Floral Endowment (www.endowment.org), and other similar organizations offering programs specializing in floristry.

 

  • Clean your vase

Containers collect a lot of dust and debris that can make your water cloudy and infect your flowers. Even if your vase is newly-bought, be sure to wash it for safety.

Cleaning your vase is actually effortless and inexpensive – you’ll have everything you need at home! Just wash with warm water, a lid of bleach, and let it dry.

Another DIY cleaning solution is a salt and vinegar paste. Just mix a tablespoon of salt with a tablespoon of vinegar, apply the mixture to your vase with a clean cloth or brush, and let it set for half an hour. Afterwards, wipe it off until all residue is removed, rinse out with lukewarm water, and let dry.

 

  • Add flower food

Yep, you read it right: cut flowers need food, too! It allows them to bloom in full health and helps ward off infections that can reduce their lifespan.

Flower food has three elements: 1) citric acid, which balances the pH level of water for ideal health; 2) sugar, which boosts their energy; and 3) bleach, which inhibits fungi and bacterial growth.

Your local nursery or online stores may have flower food packets readily available. But if you want to make your own at home, the recipe is easy to follow! All you need is 1 quart of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of bleach, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

There are also loads of alternatives to this recipe! Clear soda, apple cider vinegar, and even vodka have been proven to be successful at nourishing flowers.

 

  • Prune away

Leaves and foliage that are kept on the stems and submerged in water will rot quickly, introducing bacteria to your flowers which can cause disease and infection.

So it’s a good idea to prune your flowers before setting them in your vase and see to it that there are no leaves below the waterline.

 

  • Cut stems

One of the best tips for keeping flowers fresh is to cut their stems! This technique creates a larger opening at the bottom of the stem, allowing your blooms to absorb more water and delay wilting.

Simply cut an inch from the stems at a 45-degree angle. It’s crucial to be careful, though! Poor cutting techniques can easily lead to crushed stems which keep your flowers from absorbing water

To prevent this, avoid using dull scissors or blades. Use a sharp knife or sharp shears instead for a guaranteed smooth and clean cut.

 

  • Place in water.

All flowers need water to flourish, but different blooms have different needs! Before you set them in water, research their specific water requirements.

Flowers with woody and semi-woody stems like roses, mimosas, lilies, chrysanthemums, and carnations tend to drink a lot. Put them in warm water filled up to about 2/3 of your vase.

Soft-stemmed flowers like anemones, freesias, and ranunculuses prefer shallow water. You can place them in warm water filled up to only 1/2 of your vase.

Blooms with bulbous stems like daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips enjoy a bit of a chill, so put them in cold water up to 1/3 of your vase.

 

  • Set in a cool area

Most flowers prefer cooler spots away from direct sunlight. You can still place them by the windows to create a peaceful look for your home; just see to it that they’re kept away from light and that they don’t touch the glass.

If you love having flowers as a centerpiece for your dining table or kitchen, make sure you put them where there are no fruits close by. This may sound strange, but ripening fruits actually emit small amounts of ethylene gas that cause flowers to brown and mature earlier than normal.

It’s also best to keep them off of anything that releases or generates heat, such as air conditioning units, fire places, heating vents, radiators, or televisions – these can lead to dehydration and early wilting.

 

Additional Care Tips

  • Change water and food

Water can gather dust and debris from your surroundings, while leaves and stems can break off your flowers and fall into your water. These elements foster an optimal environment for bacterial growth. So it’s necessary to change your water every 2-3 days.

For best results, you can clean the vase before you change the water. Also, make sure to stir in fresh flower food to replenish your flowers’ nutrients!

 

  • Re-cut stems

Whenever you cut flowers, you create a “wound” at the bottom of the stem. So flowers “mend” themselves by sealing the wound which blocks it off to water supply and greatly lessens their water intake.

This is why re-cutting stems is essential! It opens up your flowers’ stems so they can take in more water; plus, it helps get rid of blockages and prevent infections as well.

Simply cut about half an inch off the stem every three days and you’ll be sure to prolong your flowers’ lives!

 

Specific Care Advice For Your Favorite Flowers

  • Roses

Remove – Roses have “guard petals” which guard the inner buds that have not yet opened. Florists keep them to secure the safety of your roses while they’re being delivered, but it’s risk-free to remove them once they arrive. This also helps your roses to spend their energy on keeping newer, more attractive petals fresh.

Revive – Wilting blooms can be restored by trimming off an inch from the bottom of the stem, then setting the roses in a bucket of water. Keep them soaking for 30-60 minutes.

 

  • Peonies (7-9 days).

Keep cool – Peonies enjoy cool environments, so some people wrap and stash them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. But placing them in a shady area in your home should be good enough to keep them flourishing.

Keep apart – Avoid overcrowding your vase when you have peonies in a mixed bouquet. They’re quite sensitive and flimsy, so give them plenty of space for their large blossoms to bloom.

 

  • Gardenias.

No sniffing – Smelling these temptingly fragrant flowers can actually cause premature wilting! Sounds weird, but gardenias enjoy their privacy and definitely turn brown when sniffed.

 

  • Lilies.

Pluck – Take note of your lilies’ anthers; they’re very likely to be covered in pollen that can stain fabric on your clothing and furniture. Simply pick the pollen off or clear away the anthers by hand.

Protect – Lilies are especially frail flowers. Their petals tend to bruise a lot, so be sure to handle them lightly when you’re recutting stems or removing anthers.

 

  • Hydrangeas.

Spray – You can keep your hydrangeas blossoming fully and vibrantly with a few spritzes of water to their petals every day.

Sustain – Again, these flowers just love their water! Make sure they always get a tall drink and change their water more frequently.

 

  • Tulips.

Take note of temperature – Tulips often tend to be more sensitive to changes in temperature. They enjoy cooler surroundings, so if you see their blossoms start to open on a hot day, just place them in front of an air-conditioner.

Turn, turn, turn – These fast-growing blooms bend over and get tangled up a lot, so make sure to rotate their vase every day.