On occasions when I’m fortunate enough to receive flowers, I often (woefully) neglect them to the point of desiccation or to where the water in the vase becomes toxic sludge.
These tips for making cut flowers last are helpful:
- Start with fresh blooms. Gently squeeze the flower head; it should be quite firm and tightly closed. Check the stems and avoid anything slimy. Ick!
- Choose long stemmed flowers over short. A long stem means a flower has had enough time to grow. Even if you ultimately want a short arrangement, start long and cut to size.
- Make a fresh 45-degree cut to help flowers soak up water.
- Remove all leaves that could be underwater. Otherwise they’ll be bacteria magnets and shorten the life of your bouquet.
- Re-hydrate. If you’re making your own arrangement and have time, soak them for several hours in fresh water.
- Use the flower food provided. Just follow the directions on the packet. (I am totally guilty of not doing this. Ever).
- Change the water ever 1-2 days. Add a small amount of flower food with the fresh water.
- Advanced tip: For droopy tulips, poke a pin through the stem just below the flower’s head. This will facilitate the flow of water and allow air to escape. (Thanks to Martha Stewart Living for that last tip).