I hope you’re one of the lucky millions of people that get beautiful flowers for Valentine’s Day. Flowers hold a special place in my heart. I put myself through college working for a few florists while I was getting my degree in Horticulture. I eventually ended up owning a small floral design company, which in a round about way led me to meet my blog BFF, Rachel at a Starbucks coffee shop. Now I’m purely an enjoyer of flowers, no work involved.
You might be wondering how to keep those beautiful flowers fresh for as long as possible. I’m here to help!First, know that Valentine’s Day flowers probably won’t last quite as long as flowers you receive at other times of the year. I hate to break it to you, but during Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, flowers are cut in bigger quantities and further in advance to keep up with demand. Many are shipped in from South America and by the time you receive them, they have probably been out of water a lot longer than at any other time during the year. Most flowers are shipped dry and then re-hydrated at the florist. They use a special solution that helps them retain moisture.
If you’re at the grocery store picking up a bouquet, make sure it’s the last thing you put in your cart. Don’t let it sit in your cart, out of water while you shop. Also, don’t let it sit in your car while you’re running other errands. Make the flowers the last stop before heading home.
When you get your flowers home, make sure the bottoms of the flowers (the parts in the water) are clear of any foliage. Foliage equals bacteria. Bacteria equals mold and that my friends, is bad for your flowers. If you do have foliage in the water, gently pull the flowers out of the vase in one big bunch. Just wrap your hand around the neck of the bunch and pull up gently. Then remove any foliage that might go under the water. This will help keep your water nice and clear. Once your finished, go ahead and put your flowers back in the water. If the water isn’t clear, change it first. If your flowers are out of water when you get them, gently strip the foliage off of the bottoms of the stems before you put them in water.
Next, let’s talk water. Always make sure your flowers are in plenty of water. Make sure all stems are covered. If you have to add water to your vase, luke-warm water is best. It helps the flowers soak up the H20. Make sure it’s not hot water. If you’re getting a bouquet that hasn’t been in water, trim the ends of the flowers a bit before you put them in the water. This will get the callused end off of the flowers and help them drink.
I recommend changing the water every other day. I don’t add anything to it other than a little bit of the packet that comes with the flowers. I know a lot of people will say to add bleach or sugar, 7-Up, aspirin etc, but that’s what the packet is for. I do it the same way as checking for foliage under the water. Just pick them up in one swoop around the neck of the arrangement and dump the vase with your other hand. Refill it and gently set your flowers back in the vase. You can fluff them up a little if necessary.
Where should you keep your flowers? The best place to keep your flowers is out of direct sunlight. Don’t place them near a sunny window. Sun will suck the life right out of them. Keep them somewhere cooler and shadier.
As your flowers age, just pull out any of the stems that are droopy or bad. It’ll freshen up your bouquet and again, detour mold and bacteria.
If you keep your water clean, foliage free and your flowers out of direct sunlight, you’ll have flowers that last a lot longer.