Very few things brighten a room quite like freshly cut flowers on display. Whether they are a surprise gift from a loved one or a personal pick me up, a bouquet is always pleasant to look at. But it’s always saddening when you see your beautiful bouquet droop as it's losing life. And it seems like such a fast decline once one or two flowers start to wilt.
If you follow these suggestions, it’s proven and guaranteed that your flowers will last at least a week (or even up to ten days!) once you place them in a vase.
CUT STEMS USING A KNIFE
Cut off 1/2 - 1” of the stems before you place them in a vase. Do so with a sharp paring knife. Using scissors will potentially squish the stems too much. If you damage the ends, this can prevent the stems from absorbing the water and nutrients. If possible, trim the stems under running water or in a bowl of water. This will ensure that no air will go into the stems.
REMOVE EXCESS LEAVES
Trim off leaves and greenery that will be submerged in the water when you place the flowers in the vase. The water in the vase will remain cleaner, preventing bacteria from building up. Plus, murky vase water is unsightly and may omit a foul odor.
USE PACKET OF FLOWER FOOD
It’s surprising the number of people who forgo this step. It may not seem like a big deal and besides, what’s in that plastic packet anyway? It varies with each packet, but for the most part, it contains: sugar, bleach, and acid. Sugar provides the nourishment, bleach prevent bacteria buildup, and acid maintains the pH level in the water. If you accidentally discard the packet, you can make your own homemade flower food with items you can find in your cabinets.
ADD TWO TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR
This may seem unusual, adding something sweet like sugar or Sprite, for example, to your fresh water. As stated above, sugar actually nourishes the stems and encourages blooming. If you have a few closed blooms, the sugar will expedite the opening. Dissolve it in the water before placing the flowers in the vase.
ADD ONE TABLESPOON OF WHITE VINEGAR
Vinegar is a household item that helps keep bacteria at bay. If you don't want to use a harsh chemical like bleach, use white vinegar. Avoid apple cider vinegar. Remember: you want to keep the water clear. You can use a lemon-lime soda, like Sprite or 7-Up, as a substitute. Or vodka. Really. I know it sounds like we’re not making a cocktail, but it has been proven that a dash of any clear spirit will delay wilting.
AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT
Even though your flowers would look beautiful catching that morning sun by the window, this location is discouraged. Place them in a draft-free area and away from the harsh rays of the sun. Your flowers will dry out quicker. Placing them on a bedside table or living room would be a better location. Misting the flowers is another way to keep the petals hydrated.
CHANGE WATER FREQUENTLY
If you can change the water in the vase every other day, that would be ideal. Changing the water is a common task many tend to forget after they place them in a vase. At this time, you can also trim the stems. With some flowers, like tulips, continuing to trim the stems will encourage growth. Make it enjoyable! Rearrange the flowers or adjust the length to switch things up a bit.
When you go to a florists or look at your market’s display, you may notice flowers in a fridge. A little chill is said to slow the aging process. Flowers actually thrive in cooler temperatures. If you can remember (and if you have room), place your bouquet in the fridge before you go to bed. This will give it about 8 hours in lower temperatures. Refrigeration has proven to be the BEST solution for extending the life of flowers. Hey, if the pro's do it, I would as well!
I know… It seems like a simple bouquet of flowers can pretty high maintenance! But you will be rewarded with a beautiful display of colorful and thriving blooms that will last far longer than you’ve anticipated! At the bare minimum, it is highly recommended to use the flower food packet and refrigerate. I suggest you try these and find what works best for your flowers and lifestyle.
Enjoy your blooming bouquet!