Floral Guide

The secret to caring for your bouquet

It happens to every one of us; you’ve had the most romantic date. Your loved one gifted you the most exquisite tulip, lily and rose bouquet and you had the most beautiful night ever… It’s been three days and you’re still in a romantic haze. But the bouquet seems to be losing it along with petals, leaves and flowers. Is there anything you can do to preserve that bouquet for as long as possible? Yes, there is. Here is what you can do to preserve that beautiful bouquet and those memories as much as possible.

Re-cut the flowers for flower care

As soon as the bouquet comes home, you have to recut the flowers with a clean, sharp clipper or a shear.

  • Never use household scissors to cut the stems as these scissors will crush the vascular system of the flower stems preventing the stems from absorbing food and water. Do not tear or smash the stems of the flowers as it will interfere with the water absorption process.
  • When you are cutting the stems create a slant in the stem to prevent air bubbles from being caught at the bottom of the stem. The slant should be about 45 degrees and it will provide a larger area for the flower to absorb water.
  • Cut and remove the leaves and the foliage and any dead leaves along the bottom 3 inches of the stem. Before cutting, dip the flower stems under water. When the flower stems are cut in air, they openings start to seal up reducing the surface area for water absorption. However, cutting the stems and excess leaves below water will just ensure that air is not absorbed and water can be pulled in through multiple openings.

Vase and water care for flower care

  • Select a vase that will house the bouquet comfortably without any crowding. Clean the vase or the container property to remove any bacteria or dust.
  • Use fresh water everyday in the vase. Remove all leaves that lie below the waterline as they will encourage bacterial growth.
  • Soft acidic water is the best. You can dissolve an aspirin in the water to create the acidity. If you have been provided with a packet of flower food, mix it with the water. The flower food will act as a hydrating, preservative and antibacterial agent. If you don’t have an aspirin, you can also mix one part common lemon or lime soda with three parts water or plain household sugar with lemon juice to create the same effect. A ¼ teaspoon of household bleach will take care of the bacteria. Add more ¼ teaspoon of bleach to the water every 5 days. A copper penny in the water will also kill any fungus in the water preventing flower decay.
  • Place the flowers in a cool area in an average temperature of about 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the flowers from drying out. Do not place the bouquet on top of appliances, near a window or any hot areas. Keep the flowers in a cold area as much as possible to prevent them from drying out.

The actual survival time for different flowers will vary considerably. For example, orchids can survive for a very long time, roses will shed petals but they do survive for two weeks, lilies can survive for two weeks if you are careful. If you aren’t sure of what to do, we suggest you buy a packet of flower food and plant preservative which will protect the flowers and preserve them for as long as possible. And of course, even if you don’t have the flowers, you will have those lovely memories!