How Florists Keep Flowers Alive
Extend the life of your flowers with these tips
It doesn't matter whether you’re growing flowers in your garden or purchasing your flowers from a flower retailer we want to help you make your flowers last. We compiled a short article detailing how florists keep flowers alive longer. These simple and easy tips will help you preserve your flowers so they last longer and extend the happiness they bring into your life and home. At Green Fresh Florals + Plants, we pride ourselves in delivering the freshest cut flowers to maximize the life of your arrangement and the joy our flowers bring into your world.
Here are the tricks we share with our customers so they can extend the life of their cut flowers. Some of you may already know and use all of these tricks; some may be new. Either way, I hope you find them helpful in keeping cut flowers alive longer.
1. Always cut the stems before placing in water
If you purchase your flowers, you should always cut the stems before putting them in water. If you are buying an arrangement from a professional florist, they should already be cut, and your flowers will be good for a few days. However, it’s still important to clip the stems after a few days to allow fresh water to penetrate the flower's stem. It also is helpful to replace the water every couple of days.
2. Cut back or remove the extra leaves
Before you place your cut flowers in a vase, take some time to remove any extra leaves at the base of the stem if the leaves would likely rest under the waterline of the container. Eliminating the foliage will decrease any bacteria in the water, helping keep the water clean and free of foul odors. This will also allow the focus of the bloom on the flowers, enabling them to stay fresh longer. Pruning fresh flowers and removing leaves is a regular part of our daily flower care at Green.
3. Choose the right size vase or container
Picking the correct vase size is an essential element in the life of your cut flower arrangement. Our trained florists can help you choose the right vase or container size to ensure that the clipped stems fit nicely into the opening or mouth. If the opening is too narrow, the flower stems might look cramped or squished so either remove some of the flower stems to create a smaller bunch or find a larger vase to utilize. In the opposite direction, If the mouth of your vase is too wide, the arrangement will not have any form or shape. If you're not sure, ask one of our friendly florists to help you decide from the many options we have available online or in our Hillcrest shop. Some work best for short and stocky arrangements, while others are better for tall and showy designs. Our team can help you make the right choice.
One option that often scares beginners is using a low vase such as a cube or small bowl because it requires a significant trim to the length of the flower stems. To make the flowers fit you will need to cut the stems down which can cause some anxiety for those just learning.
If you are trying to get your flowers to open up, substitute warm water for cold water. The warm temperature will help facilitate the opening of the bloom. After they open, you will want to use cold water when you replace the water.
4. Change the water every two days
Fresh, clean water will keep your cut flowers alive longer. Remove the flowers from the vase every two or three days, rinse the vase out, and fill it with fresh water. If you have dying foliage, be sure to remove it.
Placing your arrangement in the fridge overnight will also help extend your flower's life. While this may be a challenge depending on the size of the arrangement, it is a nifty trick that will do wonders for your flower's life, especially in the summertime.
5. Remove dying flowers
Everything has a season, and there will be a time when some of your flowers will start to fade and turn dark. After several days, you may notice some individual flowers begin to wilt or die.
To continue to enjoy your blooming flowers remove the dead or dying blooms as they detract from the beauty and will begin to grow mold and contaminate the healthy flowers. This will keep your arrangement looking fresh longer.
6. Place your arrangement in the best location
Keeping your cut flowers in the right place can directly impact the life of the flowers. Placing your arrangement in a shaded, cool area that receives indirect sunlight helps preserve the blooms as opposed to bright, direct sunlight and heat. Remember, cooler is better with the exception of tropical blooms which prefer the heat and humidity (like orchids).
One additional tip: If your flowers arrive with a small packet of flower "food,” be sure to use it. While the ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer, most contain sugar to feed the flowers, acid to maintain the pH levels of the water, and a bit of bleach to reduce the bacteria and fungi in the vase water. All three help extend the life of the flowers.