The top two questions asked when people select and purchase
cut flowers are “how do I take care of them?'' and
“how long will they last?'' Whether it is a single bud,
a small bunch or an abundant arrangement, a little extra
care can make a big difference. Most floral arrangements
last between 4-7 days, depending on the types of flower used
and the care they receive. Carnations and Chrysanthemums,
for example, can remain vibrant for long periods, while
Roses have a shorter vase life but are considered more
romantic and loved for their special and delicate beauty.
Floral professionals at Society of American Florists suggest
these tips to help add days to your flowers beauty.
For Flower Arrangements
Check the vase or container for water when it is delivered,
it may have lost some water in transit. Keep the vase filled
or the floral foam soaked with water containing a flower
food provided by your florist. Be sure to follow the
directions on the package of the flower food. If the water
becomes cloudy in a few days, replace it entirely.
If possible, re-cut the stems by
removing one to two inches with a sharp knife.
For Loose Bunches or Boxed Flowers
When you get your cut flowers (they should come with water
tubes on them from your florist), keep them in a cool place
until you can get them into water with flower food. Fill a
deep, clean vase (always use a clean vase, bacteria is an
enemy and shortens the life of all flowers) and add the
flower food obtained from your florist. Be sure to follow
the directions on the package.
Remove the water tubes and any leaves that will be below the
waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial growth.
Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife, being sure that you do
not crush the stem in cutting. If you can do this underwater
it is better for the bloom, and place directly into the vase
solution you have prepared.
If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangement
you should also consider these tips:
When selecting flowers remember the size and shape of the
vase or container you will be filing. Pick flowers that lend
themselves to how you are going to use them. Look for
flowers with upright petals and buds beginning to open. When
using woody stems and/or branches, such as quince,
forsythia, or lilac cut the stems with a sharp pruning
shears. Place them in warm water containing fresh flower
food to promote opening.
Always try to keep flowers in a cool location (65 to 72
degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating and
cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans or on top of
televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give
off heat, causing flowers to dehydrate.)