So you received a beautiful arrangement! Or maybe you just grabbed some cute flowers from the market. Now what?!
Caring for fresh flowers can help extend their lifespan and keep them looking vibrant. Here are some general tips to care for fresh flowers:
1. Remove Those Leaves: Remove any leaves and foliage that will be submerged in water to prevent bacterial growth. This also allows more water to go directly to the flower head and any leaves you’ve decided to keep above the vase’s edge. You can clean all your stems in bulk and snip in bunches to make the hydration process quicker.
2. Snip Those Ends: Trim about an inch off the stems at a 45-degree angle before placing them in water. This helps the flowers absorb water more effectively with a fresh, clean opening.
3. Hydration is Key: Most flowers have not been properly hydrated or been out of water for quite some time before you’ve managed to handpick them for yourself. After removing unnecessary greenery and trimmed your stems, allow your flowers to drink up before designing.
PRO TIP: when buying roses in bulk (or really any flowers from a grocery store) snip the stems before removing any packaging to allow the flower heads to rehydrate and maintain their shape. If you have the time, allow your blooms to drink for at least one hour before removing the packaging and continuing the care process (removing greenery, thorns, and trimming the stems at an angle).
4. Flower Food: If provided, use the flower food packet that comes with the flowers. This contains nutrients and helps keep the water clean. Remember that some flowers have specific care requirements, so it's a good idea to check for any special care instructions that might come with the bouquet.
5. Location Location Location: Place your flowers in a cool, draft-free area away from direct sunlight, heating vents, and fruit bowls (as fruits emit ethylene gas, which can shorten flower lifespan).
6. Reuse: After you've enjoyed your flower arrangement for a few days, don't be afraid to take out a few favorite stems and repurpose into smaller bud vases throughout your home. A fresh snip, clean water, and a change of scenery may help extend their life (and you'll get a bit more time with your flowers!).
7. Recutting Stems: Every few days, recut the stems and change the water. This prevents blockages in the stems and allows fresh water to travel up.
8. Flower Type: Different flowers have specific care needs. Some might prefer warm water, while others might need cooler temperatures. Orchids and tropical flowers may be a bit more hardy in warmer temperatures while more delicate flowers like hydrangea, cafe au lait dahlias, or anemones may bloom and wilt more quickly.
9. Woody Stems: For flowers with woody stems (hydrangea, lilac, protea), you want to cut the ends at a very sharp angle to create a wider opening for bbetter water absorption. And for ACTUAL woody stems, like branches, you can cut them directly in the middle of the branch to create a larger opening for water. If they’re too thick for clippers you can use a hammer to split the end open.
10. Hygiene: If possible, wash the vase with soap and warm water between uses to remove any bacteria or residue. Bleach or Windex works well too! Be sure to change out the water every few days to improve the life of the flowers.
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