Take Care of Your Flowers
If you're reading this page, you must really care about your flowers. We do too, so we're happy to help!
#1 Change the Water Every 2-3 Days
Just like humans need water to survive, so do flowers! Keep the vase full at all times to ensure the flowers do not dry out or wilt away, even if the container has a floral foam at the bottom. After a few days, bacteria will build up as the flower stems sit in the water. To avoid that stinky, rotten smell from replacing the lovely fragrance of your flowers and permeating your space, be sure to completely change out the water and wash the vase every 2-3 days. It's also not a bad idea to gently wipe off the flower stems with a paper towel, to remove any filmy, bacterial residue, and trim the stems. Remove any damaged or wilted flowers or greenery that falls below the waterline in the vase.
#2 Trim the Stems
In addition to changing the water and cleaning the vase every 2-3 days, you'll also want to trim your flower stems, to avoid bacteria build-up and acquiring a stench. In doing so, fresh stem tissue becomes exposed and the flower is able to suck in water more efficiently. That said, be sure to trim the stems at least a half an inch, on an angle, and with a sharp knife or scissors. Take special care to avoid smashing or piercing the stems, as this can prevent the stem from absorbing water. To maintain the integrity of the arrangement, consider tying the stems at the vase's edge before removing them from the vase.
#3 Place Your Flowers in a Cool, Darker Space
You might think it makes the most sense to place your floral arrangement on a window sill, or somewhere that has direct sunlight throughout the day. As it turns out, this is actually the worst place for your flowers! Fresh cut floral arrangements typically include flowers that are at the peak of their maturity and perfection. Therefore, in order to last a while, they will require temperatures between 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit and to be placed in a darker area. You'll also want to avoid placing them near heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, on top of televisions or radiators, and ripening fruit. Electronics and radiators give off heat, which may cause flowers to dehydrate. Ripening fruit releases a gas called ethylene, which can cause flowers to age more quickly.
#4 Thoroughly Clean Your Vase With Hot, Soapy Water
We've said it once, we've said it twice; why not a third time, for good measure? Clean your vase! It is incredibly important to clean out your vase, not only throughout the lifetime of your floral arrangement, but after its expiration. Reason being, bacteria doesn't just go away once the vase dries out; it'll be there once you fill the vase with water again, ready to attack the next flower arrangement you bring home! Give your future flowers a nice, clean environment by washing the vase with hot soapy water, or running it through your dishwasher.
#5 DIY Flower Power
Ready-made flower preservative packets contain sugar-based bactericide ingredients designed to "feed" your bouquet and keep the water fresh for a day or two longer. But what happens if you don't have any ready-made flower food packets on-hand? Well, you're in luck, because there are several items you may already have sitting in your kitchen that will help prolong your flowers just as well.
Homemade Flower Food:
Add 1 tsp of sugar and 2 tsps of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, before adding warm tap water and your bouquet, and voila! Fresh flowers for days!
Don't have sugar, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar? Crushed or dissolving aspirin is a tried and true alternative.
For long-lasting, clean, clear water add 2-3 drops of bleach (or 1/4 tsp for every qt of water) to the water each time you re-cut your flowers and clean your vase.
The key to keeping your flowers looking fresh for as long as possible is to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water. You can do so by adding a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water, for antibacterial action, along with 1 tsp of sugar. Change the water every 2-3 days, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time. (Feel free to make yourself a cocktail while you're at it!)
Each of these DIY tricks only work when you stick to the routine of re-cutting and refreshing your bouquet, water, and vase every 2-3 days. Please don't hesitate to contact Laura's Flower Shoppe
if you come up with any questions, comments, or feedback regarding your flowers. We're always happy to help!