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Here’s how to keep your flower bouquet fresh

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Simply placing your beautiful bunch of flowers into water and adding flower food is not enough to care for them well.

Image by @flowersvasette

My mother loves plants and flowers so much that watering our house plants was the first thing she probably ever asked me to help her with. And I did everyday as a child. Sometimes I loved it, other times it was a real chore!

I would say though, that it is very surreal how consistent she has been with caring for, and making her plants and flowers last so long.

To give you some perspective, she once received a small indoor plant with a lifespan of 3 weeks. It’s been 4 years, and only 2 weeks ago, it began to flower again. She also once rescued a plant from my apartment that I believed had died and revived it for her home.

She’s mainly known to my friends as Judith the plant whisperer and I say all this to say that the apple did not fall too far from the tree, I picked up her tips and tricks along with Kristin Schleiter's notes in the consumer reports.

Without further ado, here’s what you can do to keep your flowers fresh and to help them last longer.

(If your bouquet arrived in a vase, skip to point 5)

How to arrange and keep flowers fresh and longer

1. Snip them diagonally

Especially if your flowers arrive in a box or with a rubber band, snip about 1.5 to 2 inches off the bottom of each flower stem.

You may have heard of this step but never knew why. It is good practice because the stem of a flower has a mechanism of drawing up a supply of water to feed it. When there is no water, which is usually the journey time from the flower shop to your home, the stem continues the mechanism of “drawing up”. Except that it is drawing up air.

If the stem is not cut before placing them in water, the air that has been drawn up, will block water absorption. Don’t be scared to give them a snip with a pair of sharp scissors.

2. Remove any leaves below water level

Pluck any leaves off the stem that may sit below water level in your vase as you snip.

Not doing this will cause those leaves to grow mould and rot quickly, spreading bacteria that will kill your beautiful flowers.

3. Put them in water as soon as you can

It helps to cut your stem under water and place it in the vase immediately. Unless your bouquet already arrives in a vase.

4. Check water temperature

An inside tip is to use slightly above room temperature water if you want your flowers to bloom quicker. But since we are talking about keeping them fresh longer, this is an important step.

Too warm, your stem will cook and unless your flowers are daffodils or tulips which bloom in the cooler months, room temperature water is best to place your flowers in.

5. Place your arrangement away from heat

Check that your choice of location to place your vase is away from direct sunlight, steam and vents.

6. Change the water

Now, this is where I think we all get complacent. For best results, your vase must be washed out and replaced with fresh water at least after every 3 days, and the stems of your still beautiful flower an optional snip by half an inch. If you want your bouquet to last longer, you’ve got to put in a little work :).

Flower Food Recipe from Kitchn

1 quart water + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon bleach or spirit like vodka. The sugar is the food part and the bleach will help to slow fungi and bacteria growth.

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1 Comment

😘Lovely thoughts and reminiscing those days of teaching you how to nurture plants and flowers. Made me chuckle. Gorgeous flowers by the way. Happy valentine's day my princess.

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