Florists’ tips for preserving the beauty of flowers


When you buy flowers from a florist, do you ever find yourself wondering why the ones on display in the shop survive so much longer and blossom far more beautifully than those you bring home and take care of?

You’re not alone in this.

Lucky for all of us, florists are always happy to share their insights into the art of keeping flowers looking lush for as long as possible.

Here are a few simple tips that will significantly improve the longevity of your floral arrangements!

Cutting and conditioning those beauties

All green and woody stems should be cut sharp at a 45° angle to create a wide surface area for optimal water absorption.

The stems will rest flat at the bottom of the vase if they are sliced straight across. Then probably not all of the stem’s surface area will be accessible to the water.

To get clean cuts every time, clippers and pruning shears are preferable for woody stems, while scissors are great for younger stems and flowers.

Be sure to disinfect the tools as well as the vase before use!

plant stem

Then, instantly place the stems in the water vase as soon as they are cut. Better yet, cut the flower stems underwater!

This will stop the xylem fluid from interacting with the air and create a clog that limits water uptake.

Remove the leaves that would fall below the vase’s water level.

These leaves will quickly rot when immersed in water for too long, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to thrive.

Change the water every 2-3 days

Florists suggest changing the vase’s water every few days to keep the flowers looking their best.

There might be a whole party of bacteria in that stale water. So, make an extra effort to clean the vase and replace the water entirely rather than merely adding more water to the vase.

And again, cut those stems, and take off the lowest leaves and the withered ones before refilling the vase with fresh, clean water.

florist with flowers

Flowers need food, too!

Feeding your flowers their special “pre-packaged meals” is another essential tip to keeping flowers stay fresh longer.

These handy sachets contain a unique blend of essential ingredients that lengthen the life of your cut flowers.

Adding the flower food packet to the water vase makes your flowers last longer, encouraging your blooms to open more beautifully and keeping bacteria at bay within the vase.

You can find flower food packets at most local flower shops, garden centres, and even in grocery stores or supermarkets.

In fact, some retail florists even give out these packets with every fresh flower purchase. These florists definitely know how to treat their customers, don’t they?

food for flowers

Remember, “The Dose makes the Poison.”

Too much flower food can actually do more harm than good to the flowers.

So, it’s best to read and follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Make sure the amount of flower food you’re using is well-blended, not too watered down or too concentrated.

Can’t get a hold of those pre-made flower food?

You can totally make them yourself! Using only the three ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Start by blending two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with one tablespoon of sugar to make some lemonade for your flowers.

Yes, you read that right, we’re making lemonade.

You can substitute 2 cups of any citrus-flavoured soda if you don’t have any lemons. Because the sugar content of these sodas is sufficient, there is no need to add any more.

Mix in half a teaspoon of chlorine bleach before diluting the mixture with two to three cups of lukewarm water.

The blossoms will benefit from sugar as a source of nourishment.

But sugary water can also promote bacterial growth, which in turn clouds the water and releases an unpleasant odour.

This is when chlorine bleach comes into play as a natural disinfectant to prevent the spread of bacteria and mold.

Then, citrus drinks will act as an acidifier that adjusts the pH level of water to be more similar to that of the plant sap, which will help to maintain the flower’s vibrant colour.

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