Fresh flower care tips
December 9, 2023
Let's talk for a minute about taking care of your fresh flowers. You've been sent a gorgeous design from your local florist and you want it to last as long as possible, so now what?
The first and most important thing flowers need is water, and plenty of it. Freshly cut stems can soak up lots of water, in the first few days especially. To ensure your flowers have all the water they can drink, check the water level at least one or even twice daily and keep it as full as the container will allow. If the florist used floral foam, the water will be soaked up like a sponge until the foam is saturated and, if the foam is standing in or surrounded by water, you can rest easy knowing it has all the hydration it needs. If this foam begins to dry out, the stems will be required to work extra hard to suck up the water necessary and will age faster. With the water level filled clear up to the top, even the shortest stems will have access.
After three or four days, carefully dump the water in your vase or container and replace it with fresh, clean water that has flower food added to it. Your florist should have provided a flower food packet along with the arrangement. This flower food or flower preservative helps to reduce bacteria, balance the pH levels in your tap water and prolong the life of your flowers for an extra few days.
Once you've dealt with hydration, the next thing to consider is placement. Obviously, you were given the flowers to enjoy, so you want to place them somewhere they'll be seen and can optimally beautify your space. Keep in mind that flowers like it cold and the cooler the temps, the longer they will last. This is often extremely difficult in summer and not that comfortable in winter, so this tip is mostly just an informative one. Your house temperature will be set to keep you comfortable, but just know that the cooler the environment, the longer the flowers will last (so long as they don't freeze). Placing your arrangement away from direct heat sources and direct sunlight and out of direct drafts will help with longevity.
Another risk to your fresh flowers is touching or handling. The oil from our hands speeds up the aging process on the flowers and causes the petals to take on a bruised appearance, so try to avoid touching the blooms. Curious pets add to the danger as well, not only to the flowers, but to the pets themselves if the flowers are of a toxic variety. Pets and flowers are not a good mix and care should be taken to keep your design out of reach of your furry friend.
One final interesting note is that flowers should not be placed near fresh fruit, especially apples, bananas or tomatoes. The fruit releases ethylene gas, which affects the flowers, causing them to droop and drop petals, overall accelerating the aging process.
These are some easy care tips that will help you enjoy the longest possible lifespan with your fresh flower arrangement. Adding even just one to your practice should help and, the more you can check off, hopefully the better your experience will be with your design. Enjoy your blooms!
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