garden, flowers, butterfly

Handy Guide To Keeping Flowers Fresh For Longer

Why Bloom Care Makes All The Difference

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

Sadly, we all know that flowers don’t last forever. But with a little work and a lot of TLC, you can keep your precious blossoms fresh and blooming for longer!

We’ve provided a simple guideline to help you sustain your beloved flowers’ vibrance for a longer time. Enjoy your lovely 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 accumulate a lot of dust and dirt that can make your water cloudy and affect your flowers. Even if your vase is newly-bought, be sure to wash it for safety.

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

Another homemade cleaning solution is a salt and vinegar paste. Simply mix a tablespoon of salt with a tablespoon of vinegar, spread 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 leave to dry.

 

Add flower food

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

Flower food has three elements: 1) citric acid, which balances the pH level of water for optimum 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 lots 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 left behind on the stems and submerged in water will rot easily, introducing bacteria to your flowers which can cause disease and infection.

So it’s a great 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 top tips for keeping flowers fresh is to cut their stems! This technique creates a bigger opening at the bottom of the stem, allowing your blooms to suck in more water and delay wilting.

Simply cut an inch from the stems at a 45-degree angle. It’s crucial to be cautious, though! Poor cutting techniques can easily result in 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 demands! Before you put 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 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 to only 1/2 of your vase.

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

 

Set in a cool area

Most flowers appreciate cooler spots away from direct sunlight. You can still place them by the windows to create a serene 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 place 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 far from anything that releases or generates heat, such as A/C 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 drop into your water. These elements promote an optimal environment for bacterial growth. So it’s important to change your water every 2-3 days.

For best results, you can wipe the vase before you change the water. Also, be sure to stir in fresh flower food to top up your flowers’ nutrients!

 

Re-cut stems

Whenever you cut flowers, you create a “wound” at the base of the stem. So flowers “mend” themselves by sealing the wound which closes it off to water supply and significantly reduces their water intake.

This is why re-cutting stems is crucial! 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 extend your flowers’ lives!

 

Special Care Advice For Your Favorite Flowers

Roses

Remove – Roses have “guard petals” which shield the inner buds that have not yet bloomed. Florists keep them to guarantee the safety of your roses while they’re being delivered, but it’s safe 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 snipping off an inch from the bottom of the stem, then placing the roses in a tub of water. Keep them submerged for 30-60 minutes.

 

Peonies (7-9 days).

Keep cool – Peonies enjoy cool surroundings, so some people wrap and store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. But placing them in a shady spot in your home should be good enough to keep them thriving.

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

 

Gardenias.

No sniffing – Smelling these temptingly aromatic blooms can actually lead to premature wilting! Sounds strange, but gardenias enjoy their privacy and actually 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 clothes and furniture. Simply pick the pollen off or take off the anthers with your hands.

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

 

Hydrangeas.

Spray – You can keep your hydrangeas blossoming perfectly 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 replace their water more repeatedly.

 

Tulips.

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

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