Flower Care - Make Your Bouquets Last Longer

Posted by eFlorist on 02/08/16 14:00

Florist tips/secrets - our experts are sharing with you the best practices and tips to enjoy your flowers even longer.

 Either tied, round or long stem, bouquets are one of the most popular gift. It represents about ⅔ of all floral creations in the UK. A bouquet is made with several cut flowers, greenery and may contain some accessories such as a ribbon, pearls and themed add-ons. Re-cutting the stem the right way is vital to enjoy them longer, but how and with which tool really matters! If you like flowers like we do, the following care tips are very important to keep them beautiful for as long as possible.  


 Note - One of the first thing to know when you receive a bouquet of flowers is that the buds may be closed. This is absolutely normal. You may think that they don’t look like the picture, they look smaller. No worry there is a reason for that! A very open flower is a flower that is in the last step of its living cycle. If we deliver close buds it’s just for you to be happy to see them blooming in your house. Some flowers, such as Alstromeria for example, may need 4 to 8 days before blooming.

 Use a clean vase or container

Cleaning the vase after use is a natural reflex but did you know that before is also very important? Indeed if you keep your vases in a cupboard, they may be dirty with dust. Professional florists have specific cleaner solutions or tablets for their shops but at home, you can easily clean your vases with classic dishwashing detergent. Bacteria can appear very quick in the water and pollute the stems up to the bud. At this stage, prevention is the key.

 Tip: After receiving your bouquet or taking it back from your local florist, put it in water and wait about 30minutes before removing the wrapping paper. This step is needed to give flowers time to adapt to their new conditions. Especially in winter or in summer when temperature changes may cause a shock to the flowers.

 Use tap water with flower food

Normal tap water at room temperature is the best and most convenient option, cold water is fine but not warm water. Room temperature is perfect to make the air bubbles at bottom of the stems disappear. Flowers needs to be rehydrated in the correct way. Water is good but not enough. The little package attached to the bouquet is what your flowers need, it’s the flower food. Many people think that it’s nonsense but it’s very helpful as it increases vase life by an average of 60% compared to water alone (source from chrysal). Flower food also reduces the pH and helps stimulate water uptake and food consumption. By killing the bacteria in the water, flower food will help the complete development of all cut flowers.

 Remove leaves under the water line

Preparing your flowers is very important. Take all extra foliage or leaves off before you put them in the vase. Any flower or any leaf completely submerged in the water is a danger because it’s going to be murky and it will create germs and bacteria which will kill them. The rule is to remove leaves that are under the water line. In addition to extra bacteria, having leaves in water may create unpleasant smell that can be easily avoided.

 Recut the stems with a sharp knife

Before they reach your home sweet home, your flowers made a rather long trip. When the grower cut the flower for the first time, the stem healed up creating a kind of natural protection against infections and dehydration. Small air bubbles can also appear around this heal. When the flower remains more than 30minutes out of water, it’s important to recut the stem. Always use a clean sharp knife or a clean secateurs, never use scissors which will simply crush the fibres and water will not be able to reach the top of the flower. Always cut a large surface (2 to 5 cm) in a 45° angle because a large surface takes up a lot more water and nutriments than a small surface. After a few days you can take the bouquet out of the vase and recut the stems, 1 cm is enough to make sure that bottom of the stems don’t clog up with bacteria and all kind of dirty things in the water.

 No direct light, heat, fruits and draught

Light and heat are vital elements for the flowers to grow and develop but once they are cut, if they are too aggressive, they create the opposite effect. Direct sunlight or excessive heat will simply burn the flowers just like our skin and create a sunburn on the leaves or buds meaning the flowers will not last long. The increase in temperature will accelerate the evaporation and dehydration of the flowers. As a consequence, the water temperature of the vase will also increase which is the perfect condition for bacteria to develop faster! Avoid placing your vase right behind the window, next to heat or even air conditioning. Draughts are also dangerous for your flowers as they accelerate the evaporation of the water cushion around the flowers and leaves. Our recommendation is also to keep your flowers away from ripening fruits which produce ethylene. This gas is a poison to your cut flowers.

 Night in a fresh room

Your flowers will last longer if you place them in a cool and fresh room during the night. This freshness break is necessary to help your flowers to lower the natural ageing process. According to the season, you can leave them either in your balcony, outside or in a cellar.

 Add water if necessary

The optimum size of the vase should be around 40 to 60% of the height of the flowers, you always need to keep 1 litre minimum in your vase for small bouquets and 2-3 litres for big bouquets. Check the water every day and refill if needed. If you used the right quantity of flower food you just need to adjust the water quantity. But if you see that the water is murky or dirty, don’t hesitate to change it entirely. Empty the vase, clean it carefully, recut the stems and fill in the vase with tap water and flower food.

cut.jpgCut -  Use a clean sharp knife to cut the stems and remove the leaves under the water line

water.jpgWater - Use a clean vase, fresh water and flower food 

Care.jpgCare - No direct sun, heat or ripening fruits next to your flowers
Enjoy.jpgEnjoy - Smile and enjoy the beauty of your flowers

Enjoy the beauty of your flowers!

Topics: Plant Care