I think we’ve all been there – a beautiful bouquet is delivered to our door but we only get a couple days of enjoyment before it starts to look sickly and ends up in the trash. Glancing at the bouquet currently on my desk, I realized that it has been there for 11 days now and is still looking pretty lovely:
Sure, it’s much smaller than the original, but it’s still nice to look at. And isn’t that the point of flower arrangements after all? Since it’s often lucky to even get a week out of a bouquet, I thought I’d share some of my tips for making them last longer.
One caveat: if you’re the “set it and forget it” type, these tips are probably not for you. Okay, let’s get started.
Ignore the Instructions on the “Flower Food” Packet
Most bouquets come with a packet of flower food made of some weird crystalline stuff. They may tell you to mix the entire packet with a quart of water and then only pour part of it into your vase. But who really wants to have a random quart of flower food solution sitting around just for a bouquet of flowers? This is especially unrealistic if you have a bouquet delivered to your work where you’re lucky to have a vase let alone an empty container to store the food solution in.
Instead of pouring it all in the vase at once and hoping for the best, use just a little bit at a time, which leads me to the next tip.
Monitor the Water and Change It Often
Just like you wouldn’t want to reuse your bath water, cut flowers do better when their water gets changed often. Changing the water every other day is great, but every two days is okay too (in the case of leaving them in the office over a weekend).
The most important thing is to check the water level regularly. If it looks low but it has only been a day, change the water. Depending on the sunlight and temperature conditions, your flowers could be very thirsty! The more you change it, the better, so always err on the side of too much.
Each time you change the water, add a little bit of the plant food to it – maybe about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Just a bit of a sprinkle. Swish it around to help it dissolve.
Pick, Prune, and Trim
Lastly, it’s important to get rid of the flowers and leaves that no longer look healthy. If petals are drying out or falling off, or leaves are yellowing, get rid of them! If a flower bloom looks good but has yellow leaves, just snip off the leaves. If you remove the dead weight there will be more nutrients left for the ones that are still thriving – survival of the fittest in a way.
The stems will likely turn yellow and/or mushy at some point. If that happens, trim them down a bit – down to where they’re green again if possible. Trim them on an angle, with a knife if you have access to one. Scissors tend to squeeze the bottoms of the stems together, collapsing their veins and making it harder for them to get water.
So there you have it. A few simple tips to getting the most out of your bouquets. A little TLC can go a long way!