Getting the Most from Your Bouquet
Updated: Aug 8
You just bought a lovely bouquet, now what? Below, I’ll review some tips and tricks to help you get the most vase life from your flowers. Let’s dive in!
1. Buy local flowers when possible. 80% of flowers sold in the US are imported from places like South America and Holland. They will spend up to the first week of their post-harvest life in and out of water, steeped in chemicals to help them retain their color and survive their journey, and loaded onto and off of planes and trucks. Then they’ll sit at a wholesaler or grocery store for several more days before they’re purchased by you. That’s a lot of stress on the blooms, bruising from being handled so much, and not to mention a solid week of their life is just gone.
Local flowers are often 1-2 days post-harvest when you receive them. They’ve been in water their whole post-harvest life, if you buy them from us they’re chemical-free, and they’ve usually only been handled by one or two people. Gain a week of life from your flowers and buy local.
2. Trim the stems. When you get your bouquet home, trim about ½” - 1” off the stems and place them in a vase that’s clean enough to drink from. Yes, I know flowers grow in the dirt. But a clean vase and clean water is critical to keep them drinking and bacteria-free.
3. Use the flower food. Did you know there are instructions on the back of the flower food packet? I didn’t until I started growing flowers. Turns out, the packets are specifically designed to be mixed with a certain amount of water to provide optimum results. Flower food really does make a difference. It feeds your blooms in a way that’s similar to how they would be if still attached to the plant, and well as fights bacterial in the water.
4. Change the water. It’s easy to forget it but changing the water is one of the most important steps in helping your blooms stay hydrated and fresh. Change the water every other day to reduce bacterial growth and keep your blooms hydrated. Be sure to wash the vase out when you do this. Use cool water.
5. Re-trim the stems. Each time you change the water, give the stems a fresh trim and put them immediately back into water. Despite best efforts, over time stem ends become gunked up with bacteria which keeps them from drinking water.
6. Location, location, location. Did you know ripening fruits release ethylene gas which causes flowers to wilt prematurely? Kitchens are a popular place to display flowers – just make sure you keep your blooms at least several feet away from that fruit bowl.
You’ll also want to keep your arrangement out of direct sunlight. Even in a climate controlled house, cut flowers exposed to direct sunlight wilt much quicker than those kept out of it.
Lastly, choose a spot away from drafts, fans, and air returns. Flowing air tends to dry blooms out and knock days of their vase life.
Bonus tip: Some flowers simply last longer than others. As a stem begins to wilt and fade, puck it out. This helps keep the rest of the flowers fresher. When you’re down to just a few blooms, place them in bud vases around your home!
Flowers are a treat and who doesn’t want to make a treat last longer? Armed with these steps, you can savor your bouquet to the absolute fullest – enjoy!