12 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Flowers
Who doesn’t love a fresh bouquet of flowers? We are constantly working to source the best stems to ensure every bouquet we send out is as fresh as possible. Here are 12 ways you can help lengthen the life of your blooms once they arrive, so you can maximize your time to enjoy them at home.
1. Check for Damaged Petals: When you unbox your flowers, make sure to look over the flower heads and gently remove any bruised or damaged petals. Please note that some flowers, such as alstroemeria, will arrive dehydrated and will appear droopy when all they need is water. Let these stems hydrate for at least 6 hours before pulling off any petals or greens. It is also a good idea to wash your hands before handling product to make sure you don’t have any lotions or oils on your skin that could hurt the flowers.
2. Trim the Bottom of the Stems: It is important to cut the ends of your flowers before they go in water. If you can, cut them at a 45-degree angle so the stems don’t sit flush with the bottom of the vase. This way, the flower can easily pull water up the stem and there is less risk of bacteria building up around the bottom of the stems.
3. Use a Sharp Cutting Utensil: If you use dull scissors or an unsharpened knife, you could crush the stems instead of giving them a nice clean cut. We use sharp gardening sheers to clip our stems before they go out for delivery. You can use pruning shears, scissors or even a kitchen knife. Just make sure that whatever you use to clip your flowers with is sharp! Here are a few tips to keep your shears in good condition:
○ Clean any debris off the blades of the shears after each use with water and wipe them dry.
○ Every so often, apply a lubricant.
○ If rust spots develop overtime, use a piece of steel wool to gently remove the spots.
○ If you notice your blade needs to be sharpened, use a sharpening file. Using moderate pressure, start at the inside of the blade and run the file at the blade’s angle from the base to the tip. Pick up the file and repeat 10-20 times for each blade.
4. Clean the Leaves Below the Water Line: Leaves left sitting in water create a breeding ground for bacteria. This will shorten the lifespan of your bouquet and even create unpleasant odors. Make sure to strip your stems of any leaves that will be below the waterline in your vase.
5. Keep the Flowers in Cold Water: We recommend using cold or room temperature water. Warm water causes your flowers to open more quickly, rushing them through their life cycle which may result in them wilting sooner than they normally would.
6. Feed the Flowers the Food Packet: Our bouquets come with a flower food packet for a good reason. Once a flower is clipped from the main plant, it loses its main nutrient source. Flower food acts as a replacement for lost nutrients, helping your flowers thrive and continue to bloom. It is created to keep away bacteria, provide sugar to the flowers, and lower the pH of the water to allow for easier hydration. If you want to make your own flower food, combine one part lemon-lime soda with three parts of water.
7. Choose the Right Container: Choosing the right container for your bouquet is not only important from an aesthetic standpoint but can affect the lifespan of your flowers. Make sure that it is clean and can hold enough water to submerge each stem. Also, use a vase that has a wide enough opening to keep your bouquet together but allows each stem breathing room to continue to bloom.
8. Keep the Flowers out of Direct Sunlight: This may seem counterintuitive because of photosynthesis but remember than these are cut flowers, not growing flowers. The direct sunlight could potentially burn or overheat your flowers. Keep them in a nice well-lit spot out of direct sunlight to keep them going strong.
9. Keep the Flowers away from Fruit: Aging fruit emits a gas called ethylene during the ripening process. This gas will also cause the flowers to bloom more quickly, so be sure to keep those bananas away from your bouquet!
10. Keep the Flowers Cool: Try and make sure your flowers are in a cool location in the house. Lower temperatures keep the flowers fresh for longer. This is why we only use cold chain for receiving our product and put the flowers in our cooler as soon as they arrive. If you feel inclined, you can even put them in your refrigerator at night. Just make sure to not let the flowers touch the walls of the fridge interior and away from fruit as discussed previously.
11. Change the Water Every Few Days: Once you notice the water getting a little low or cloudy, give the vase a clean rinse and refill with cool water. If you happen to have an extra flower food packet, make sure to add that to your refreshed vase (or a splash of lemon lime soda). It doesn’t hurt to rinse the stems during this time as well.
12. Refresh the Bouquet: When you change your vase water, take a moment to inspect your flowers and give the stems a fresh snip with those sharp utensils. Make sure to pull out any wilted blooms or flowers that may have gone past their prime. Leaving these in the bouquet may shorten the life of the other flowers. As individual flowers start to wilt and your bouquet starts to look smaller and smaller, take this opportunity to rearrange your bouquet or split it into smaller vases. Don’t let those long-lasting stems go to waste!
We hope you find these tips useful. Remember, some flower types last longer than others, so don’t be surprised if a rose wilts before a carnation. It is just the lifespan of that flower. And once your bouquet wilts completely you can always hop back on our website and order another fresh bouquet! Better yet, check out our subscription options and never be without fresh flowers again.