Seriously, who doesn't love having fresh flowers around? Personally, I feel like there's nothing that better brightens up a room! But did you ever feel like your store-bought bouquets seemed a little sad or lifeless after just a couple days?
...Or worse yet, from the moment you got it?
Some of you may have lost faith completely in fresh flowers, because they always seem to die leaving you feeling defeated and broken hearted.
While I was processing some of my favorite spring blooms today I thought to myself, why not share with you some simple tips that can give your bouquet LIFE! (Literally!) ...After all, YOU ALL should get the most possible enjoyment out of your flowers, like I do!
1. Remove Excess greenery
As far as non-experienced flower lovers go, I would say this is a step that many forget. In fact, if it's someone who I know and am comfortable with (like my mother or sister-in-law), sometimes I can't help myself from taking the flowers out of the vase, pulling all the foliage off, and replacing them back in the vase!
Foliage in the water is NO BUENO for cut flower life!
The leaves produce bacteria which can contaminate the water making it difficult for your stems to drink. As for the foliage that will be above the water line, feel free to leave it be.
After all, greenery is welcome here! I think I would like that printed on a t-shirt. Or maybe a coffee mug? Hmmm... Anyway, back to the list...
2. Don't underestimate the power of a fresh cut and fresh water
Many may be surprised to know this, but in all my years of caring for and working with flowers, I have never once used a drop of flower food (or even a cooler) and my flowers have always endured long and happy vase lives.
The secret? ...Giving them a fresh cut and fresh water daily.
Everyone has their myths or things they've been told about making flowers last longer, whether it be adding sugar, bleach, vinegar, or flower food (which is really just a combination of the former 3 ingredients). The truth is, florists provide flower food because they are doubtful that the recipient will give the flowers proper care.
The above remedies can help, but they are not necessary if the stems are given clean water so they can continue to hydrate and thrive.
Many are told that putting a bouquet in the fridge will preserve it. It can help in some cases, (i.e. my corsage for my senior prom) but in some cases, it can only hurt. For example, exposed fruits and vegetables could give off gases that harm the flowers. Also, if the flowers are placed too close to the chiller, they can freeze and brown. Floral coolers are generally kept at 40 degrees, which is slightly lower than a household refrigerator.
In my experience, as long as the flowers have access to clean water (and are kept away from harsh sunlight if it's a hot day) that is the absolute best thing for them!
3. mind the source and freshness of your blooms
Sometimes, to the untrained eye, it's tough to tell the freshness of different types of flowers. Typically, you want the stems to appear very clean and have some structure to them (not floppy).
With roses, you can sometimes tell their freshness by giving them a gentle squeeze to see if they feel firm (like a head of garlic) or very soft (like a head of room temperature lettuce).
Just remember, Garlic = Good, Lettuce = Bad (unless we're talking taco Tuesday of course!)
Use some of these tips next time you are at the store, or better yet, purchase your flowers from a local florist. Florists tend to have faster turnover, and they can also tell you how fresh they are.
4. Let 'em breathe
Flowers don't like to be crowded. If you receive a pre-arranged bouquet from a grocery store, they tend to be assembled with the stems all parallel to one another. It is best to re-arrange them, placing each stem into the vase one at a time, rotating around the edge of the vase and placing them in at a slight outward angle. Think of them as rays of the sun, each with their own space for their heads to breathe, open, and bloom - rather than vertical strands of raw spaghetti all packed together.
I hope these tips come in handy the next time you receive a beautiful bouquet!