(5 minute read)
They're not as High Maintenance as you think...
Job One after bringing home or receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers is getting them in water -- FAST. This step is critical as the longer you have those flowers out of water, the shorter their potential vase-life. Don't panic though, even if you're not ready to fully unwrap and arrange the bouquet after arriving home, keep them happy with these quick steps:
Step 2 is often ignored but it is very important -- within minutes of emerging from water, stem ends begin to dry and seal up the tiny capillaries (ie. straws) which draw the water (and food) up through to the face of the flower. Impeding this transpiration process will result in -at worst- immediate wilting, and at best a much shorter vase life.
The flower-care hacks I've seen and heard of are numerous: "put a penny in the vase", "dip the stems in boiling water", "add a tsp of sugar, a shot of vodka, an ounce of lemon juice and a splash of bleach to the water" ...ughhhh. While I understand where these beliefs originate from, they fail to keep things simple for the average consumer, and ends up being more expensive. Instead to properly and affordably feed your flowers do one thing: USE THE FLOWER FOOD PACKET.
That seemingly annoying little blue or black packet of dust which comes in your bouquet should not find a home in your junk drawer. It needs to go in the vase of water to ensure your blooms last up to 60% longer than without.
How does it do this? Glad you asked! Floral food contains 3 important ingredients:
Yes, these ingredients behave similarly to the sugar, bleach and citric acid you might find in your home, but this packet is a scientifically developed, single-step, pre-measured and FREE tool. So ask for a few extra packets, follow their simple instructions and use it!
The anti-bacterial agent in the flower food can only tackle so much, so set your blooms up for success by ensuring your designing tools and vase are clean when you start. A mild detergent wash, or cycle in the dishwasher, on these is fine but remember to use sharp kitchen scissors (not your daughter's crafting snips) when cutting those stems. Anything dull will crush their delicate capillaries and compromising their sucking power!
Clean water is the most effective way to ensure cut flower longevity. We've all accidentally brewed flower soup - bleh - and know the consequences of this rank concoction, so try to stick with these 3 steps:
A serious cut flower caregiver will do this same process three times a week, adding flower food every time, but if that's too much responsibility don't stress!
Believe it or not, vase placement in your home is an important factor in flower longevity. Since home-styling and feng shui decisions are subjective, I'll mention three places you should NOT leave your blooms:
They're Going to Change
Your view of your bouquet is going to change over your 1-2 week relationship. The look of the flowers will change daily as buds open, mature and expire. It's important to note that some varieties will even expire sooner than others. This is known as vase-life and every variety has its own average life expectancy which influenced by it's caregiving. A well designed arrangement (I'm referring here to designs for daily enjoyment and not weddings/events) will feature blooms with different vase-lives to ensure a lengthy friendship worthy of their expense, but to assist in the overall health of those slower maturing blooms take this one important step:
When flowers decompose they pollute the water at a faster rate, and compromise the life of their vase neighbours. By removing them as they appear, sure the arrangement might look smaller, but this space will leave room for healthy undeveloped flowers to bloom and fill out!
Cut flower caregiving does not need to be as complicated as those "helpful" hacks seem to make it. By following my 5 quick tips described above you'll be well on your way to getting the best value out of your fresh flower bouquet. So use the bleach in the laundry, keep the sugar in the baking, drink the vodka and enjoy your blooms!
Any questions? Leave them in the comments or shoot me a private message!
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