Valentine’s Day is just around the corner which means it’s time to start thinking about flowers! If you’ve ever received flowers, you know the feeling of excitement that comes with seeing a beautiful arrangement delivered to your home or office. But what if the joy of receiving flowers could last longer?
Most people know the basics for keeping flowers alive longer: changing the water, keeping it in a cool place, and not leaving them in direct sunlight. But there are a few tips from the floral designers at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop in Milwaukee, WI that will help make your flowers last as long as possible.
1. Choose a clear vase
One of the most obvious ways to make roses and other flowers last longer is by using a clear vase with a lot of water. Why clear? Because opaque vases make it much more difficult to monitor the water level – which almost always leads to under-watering and faster perishing flowers.
2. Condition your water (use flower food)
Tap water is great for flowers, but nutrients are necessary if you want to extend their life. Flower food packets are just three ingredients mixed together to make a perfect environment for cut flowers. Bleach (bactericide) kills any bacteria or mold while sugar provides energy and water retention. Citric acid dissolves air bubbles and balances the pH level of the water.
To make more flower food at home, simply mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon of bleach and 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice with a quarter cup of warm water until fully dissolved.
3. Refresh them every day
Just a few minutes of care each day can have a substantial effect on the life of your flowers. Refreshing the water, trimming the stems, and adding new flower food, will prevent bacteria and keep your flowers looking their best.
Unlike many houseplants, it is nearly impossible to “over-water” your cut flowers (unless water is spilling over the top of the vase) so the bigger concern is not giving them enough. If you cannot give them a refresh every day then at least make sure they have plenty of water at all times.
4. Remove any leaves below the water line
If you’re looking for ways to make roses and other cut flowers last longer, this is a big one that often gets overlooked; cut off any leaves that are below the surface of the water, these will rot and cause bacteria growth which will shorten the life of your flowers.
5. Only touch the stems
Touching a flower is like touching fabric – it can be delicate and cause damage if you aren’t careful. It is important to avoid touching flowers except when removing them from their vase for trimming or fresh water. Touching these delicate pieces of art can easily cause damage and shorten the life of your flowers, so use stems as handles when you need to touch them instead of heads or petals.
6. Use pruning shears or your sharpest scissors
When cutting the stems, make sure to use a very sharp pair of scissors or knife if you do not have pruning shears available. Dull blades can crush the stems and damage them – which will also shorten their life span. Cutting the stems with a sharp implement not only ensures that you’ll get an even cut, but it also helps prevent them from getting crushed.
Cutting stems at least an inch from the bottom will allow otherwise clogged plants to reopen and absorb more water. Cutting them with a 45 degree angle creates larger openings near the base, which allows for greater absorption due to a larger exposed surface area.
7. Create a healthy environment
Your flowers’ environment plays a considerable role in how long they will last. Positioning your floral arrangement in a location where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight will help prevent it from wilting prematurely.
Flowers have a special talent for retaining heat. If you’re trying to slow down the decay process, place your flowers in an area with temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit–but don’t worry if they’re room-temperature. It is also important to keep your flowers away from any fruits or vegetables because they release ethylene gas as they ripen – which poisons cut flowers and expedites wilting and browning.
By following these seven simple steps, you can keep your fresh flowers looking vibrant for as long as possible. Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner on Monday, February 14.
Now is the perfect time to send flowers with the best flower delivery and beautiful blooms from your local florist. At Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we offer same day flower delivery for Valentine’s Day flowers as well as birthdays, anniversaries, get well soon wishes, sympathy, or just to make someone smile in Milwaukee, WI and surrounding areas.