Dictionary of Flowers
How can I make my flowers last longer?
Certain varieties of cut flowers last longer than others. Carnations, for example, can remain vibrant for long periods. Roses have a shorter vase life but are prized for their special and delicate beauty. When buying flowers, be sure to ask your florist how long you should expect your arrangement to last. Whatever variety you choose, a little TLC will go a long way to keep your blooms looking fresh longer. Here are a few handy tips that can help add days to their beauty!
Essentials for your flowers
Keep them in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit; 18 to 22 degrees Celsius), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, direct drafts from a ceiling fan, and the tops of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, causing flowers to dehydrate.)
When your flowers arrive in wet foam
Keep the floral foam soaked in water containing floral food provided by your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
When your flowers are arranged in water
Keep the vase filled with water containing floral food provided by your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
If the solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. If possible, recut the stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife.
Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial growth that can harm the flowers.
When your flowers have woody stems and branches (such as Quince, Forsythia, or Lilac)
Cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place in warm water containing fresh floral food to promote flower opening.
What is floral food and why use it?
Floral food is a combination of additives that help to nourish the flowers and discourage bacteria from growing in the water. It is one of the best—and easiest—ways to extend the life of your flowers. It is very important to follow the directions on the package correctly. Improperly mixed floral food can do more harm than good.