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.)